Analytics in Healthcare

DPA Insights

It’s Time to Ramp up Analytics in Healthcare

The transition from fee-for-service to outcome-based reimbursement models requires a major shift in how hospitals collect, maintain, analyze and use data.

But how many healthcare organizations are taking this challenge seriously?

In its recent study Healthcare Analytics: Has the Need Ever Been Greater?, Aberdeen Group reports that while 56 percent of the healthcare organizations they’ve surveyed have reduced the time required to execute business processes, less than half reported improvements in productivity.

“And yet,” the report warns, “many healthcare providers are staring at a tsunami as they face significant cuts in their traditional fee-for-service revenue…as a result, some healthcare providers will almost certainly cease to exist as they are engulfed by the wave of healthcare reform and revenue loss.”

Aberdeen’s study shows that in healthcare organizations, finance and administration are the only function where analytics are used regularly. Compare that to the more than half of non-healthcare best-in-class organizations, which use business analytics across the entire organization,

The problem? Hospitals are not appropriately capturing, collecting and managing the data they so desperately need to determine what actions will improve performance and save money. While the introduction of electronic medical records are beginning to improve efficiencies, many hospitals still rely on paper records, which make analysis all but impossible.

The Aberdeen report recommends practices used by non-healthcare best-in-class companies that can also benefit health care organizations:

1. Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) across all lines of the business.

2. Set up data collection systems and tools to measure performance against these KPIs.

3. Assess performance and make necessary adjustments.

4. Establish measurement tools to assess data quality issues.

5. Hire individuals with solid analytical knowledge.

6. Boost employees’ analytical abilities through formal education and training.

7. Have business intelligence tools in place to assess and improve the quality and consistency of data collected.

8. Establish a feedback mechanism to ensure that data is delivered to those that need it, in the frequency they require, it to improve their department’s planning and performance.

9. Establish the latest analytics technologies, including executive and operational performance dashboards.

If you work in a hospital, clinic, doctors’ practice or other healthcare organization, we’d like to hear about what you’re doing to measure and improve performance.

What are you measuring, and why?

What data collection procedures do you use to determine what’s working (or not working)?

How do you determine what improvements should be made, how and by whom?

What kinds of technologies do you use (or plan to implement)?

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