By John Walton, solution architect, CTG
When it comes to formulating and operationalizing a data management strategy, the healthcare industry as a whole is not where it should be. As integrated delivery networks continue to acquire more healthcare companies — and even other integrated delivery networks — organizations are dealing with a confusing assortment of different electronic health record systems and analytics solutions. Each system ends up acting as a silo with its own proprietary data and key performance indicators.
These KPIs are meant to help businesses succeed in their three- or five-year plans, but many in the industry either fail to tie these metrics to specific strategies or find themselves with competing KPIs from other sections of the company. The result is a mess of data that many organizations decide to dump into a data lake, hoping data scientists will step in and solve the problem. Unsurprisingly, this doesn’t often produce ideal results.
Why Healthcare Data Management Has to Improve
This lack of proper data management in healthcare leads to several problems. For one, it makes it virtually impossible to stay compliant in areas such as value-based care contracts and population health management. As healthcare organizations strive to provide analytics at the point of care, a lack of integration between payer and provider data can also become a nearly insurmountable obstacle.
To effectively take advantage of the data they’re acquiring, healthcare organizations need to work from a solid data foundation. With a proper blueprint, organizations can better see how to prioritize analytics at an enterprise level. Even more important, the dimensions of analysis in a data blueprint will provide healthcare companies with the core requirements necessary to implement a viable data governance strategy.
4 Steps to Building a Strong Data Foundation
For healthcare organizations dealing with a quagmire of data in various silos, building a foundation might sound easier said than done. Fortunately, any CIO in the industry can take a few steps to get their data in order and get on the right path to excellent healthcare data management and effective data governance:
- Analyze current dashboards and reports.
IT teams should start by developing a KPI inventory across all existing dashboards. These KPIs should match an organization’s strategic plans and include all contributing metrics to get a full picture of performance. For example, if an organization aims to improve patient satisfaction by 90% over three years, the KPI inventory should include metrics such as ER wait times and readmission rates.
CIOs should also ensure their organization can perform drill-down analytics on performance metrics. Drill-down analytics provide a deeper view into data’s details and origins, making troubleshooting and management much more straightforward.