“The purpose of an analytics strategy is to guide a healthcare organization’s (HCO)
According to Strome (2013), “the purpose of an analytics strategy is to guide a healthcare organization (HCO) ability to rapidly respond to the information needs of stakeholders while maintaining a consistent direction in supporting the quality and business goals of the HCO.”
As a healthcare administrator the analytics systems should work to collect, analyze, and provide useful information to managers and other leaders to assist them in making better decisions. In healthcare every decision that is made by administration and managers should be to improve the quality, safety, and efficacy of care patients receive. However, there is an analytic framework that incorporates the key components of an effective analytics system that supports quality. According to Strome (2013) the areas that should be considered in a comprehensive analytics strategy include:
Business and quality context
Stakeholders and users
Processes and data
Tools and techniques
Team and training
Technology and infrastructure
Each one of these areas is used to support one of the main functions in an HCO and can’t do without them. Each one plays a vital role in sustaining the other. Healthcare analytics systems can also be used to solve problems. Specific problems can be address with healthcare analytics. Business and quality context information is used to outline business problems facing HCOs. It also tracks quality, financial, and performance goals (Strome, 2013). It’s easier to address these issues with the right kind of data. Stakeholders and uses includes individuals and organizations that are actively involved in a patients care, a project, or any other interest within the facility can gain access to this information and improve communication, and efficiency. Team and training are important because teams are often formed for QI and proper training is crucial from the start. A strong foundation with good training program is important for new members and for staff that would like to upskill. Healthcare analytics are at times required by administrators, and healthcare leaders to make crucial decisions for their organizations. These decisions are often directly or indirectly linked to the care patients receive. Decisions can be made using analytic indicators rather than gut feelings. Analytics systems can mitigate risk and help administrators and healthcare leaders monitor progress.
The three strategies that I would like to discuss are:
What data is most required to address key quality, efficiency, and performance issues facing the HCO
What skill and knowledge are necessary in the HCO’s analytics team;
What data and integration infrastructure is necessary to support analytics initiatives;
Before all else, it’s crucial to have a good idea of where and what is required of a HCOs analytics system. Without a clear understanding an organization will waste time and resources compiling useless information. Quality, efficiency, and performance are key points to track in any organization, especially healthcare. Data should be used in every department to try and improve their performance, efficiency, and quality of care the patients receive. Collecting data on patient satisfaction and patient outcome during their stay is a good start but it’s not enough. Most of the time patients complain that it takes too long to get help after pressing a call light. This has been an ongoing problem for years in many HCOs.
Data should be shared with every department manager and the manager along with staff should try to find the best solutions for their department. Most of the time staff is working short staffed, making it impossible to get to all the lights within a reasonable time. Data on staffing might be used to notify available staff that there is an available shift via email, or text messages. It would be easier to find staff to work and managers wouldn’t have to call each individual person to see if they want to work. Quality of care, efficiency, and performance would improve if healthcare facilities were staffed better and being able to communicate staffing needs with staff members at all times would improve the chances of finding people to fill open shifts.
A healthcare analytics team should have at least a basic understanding of the data they’re collecting; therefore, an analytics team should include the input of every department manager so that the data that’s being collected is relevant and useful. Data should be used to improve quality, efficiency, and performance every step of the way. A healthcare analytics team that involves those that deal with issues on a daily basis are the best people to ask what kind of data would best serve your department to improve performance, efficiency, and the quality-of-care patients receive.
Data is useless unless its shared with the right people. Some important data that should be shared with clinicians is information on patient infection rates on catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), and ventilator acquired pneumonia (VAP). Managers and clinicians should discuss this information and find ways to reduce or better yet, eliminate them. Data should continuously be collected and shared. Tracking the effectiveness of performance is crucial in determining if the HCO is continuously improving the quality-of-care patients receive.