How to Liberate Data Insights
In last week’s blog post, we explored how to make the most out of analytics investments. For this week’s blog, we want to continue that conversation. Data is a useful resource and the industry agrees, with 70 percent of healthcare organizations seeing its value. Although useful, there are many challenges in addressing data including how to best utilize it.
One useful way to leverage data analytics is to create its own department. Often times, healthcare organization’s data is confined to departmental silos that prevent the delivery of actionable insights to the hands of key decision-makers. This self-servicing of analytics democratizes data and insight by providing the right insights to the right users at the right time. Here’s how healthcare organizations can succeed with their own analytics department:
- Find Departmental Business Leaders and Champions
With an analytics department there comes a lot of data insight to manage. This requires leadership and process change, not just dashboards to sift through. Data champions and business leaders are the driving force that will integrate insight into their daily, monthly and/or quarterly management processes. When engagement with analytics comes from the top it is much easier to sustain and ensure that analytics is integrated throughout the organization.
2. Build Trust with Data Governance
Data is nothing without the organization behind it. To gain that trust, it’s important to provide reliable data that business leaders and champions can use to empower physician and clinical teams towards their goals. To ensure data trust, there needs to be proper governance, documentation and data mapping to help build trust and transparency throughout the organization.
To learn more about leveraging analytics, check out our latest whitepaper here. If you are interested in ways we can help you on your analytics journey, learn more about our enterprise analytics options.
How Health Systems Can Achieve ROI in Analytics Investments
The journey to value-based care is filled with challenges, especially as it relates to measuring quality metrics. This challenge can be difficult to overcome without the right tools and skillsets but analytics can be an invaluable asset to help track and benchmark progress towards value. In fact, this is already becoming a widely-adopted tool, with the healthcare analytics market expecting to reach $42.8 billion by 2024. In this week’s blog post, we’ll outline the necessary steps healthcare organizations can take to ensure return on investment (ROI) with analytics. With nearly every healthcare organization somewhere along the value journey, it’s important to keep in mind that each step should be catered to help meet specific business objectives. Here are three guidelines to start:
1. Lead with Business Use Case, Not Technology
A successful analytics project begins by identifying key stakeholders and understanding their needs for reporting and analysis. Think of the following question when getting started: what business problems are we trying to solve and how can enterprise analytics create value? Analytics programs need to be built with problems at the center.
2. Achieve Quick Wins
Starting small is key. Sifting through and analyzing data can be a large and daunting task, so it’s important to remain focused at the start of your project and then expand. Focus on one or two small use cases such as medication adherence or hospital readmissions. Once those initiatives are deployed, set realistic metrics and timeframes to properly measure progress. If progress is being made, make sure to continue driving the initiative and look for additional growth opportunities.
3. Create a Data-Drive Culture
Healthcare organizations typically work in siloes, especially as it relates to analytics. Each department has various levels of competency and integration of analytics tools. Establishing a dedicated analytics department that is separate from others instills its importance and creates a data-driven culture. Through centralizing analytics, the healthcare organization can spread expertise across the organization, standardize analytical platforms and create governance for consistent calculations and metrics.
To learn more on how to make the most of your analytics investment, check out our latest whitepaper here. If you are interested in ways we can help you on your analytics journey, learn more about our enterprise analytics options.
A Data Scientist’s Response to the Debate Over Patient Data Ownership
A New York Times op-ed, The Health Data Conundrum, by Eric Topol and federal prosecutor Kathryn Haun, argues that patients should have full ownership of their medical records, especially during a time when data hacking is the new norm. The piece has received mixed reviews over the past week, most industry thought leaders believing it was a not well thought out response to a complex issue. In this week’s blog, our very own Virginia Long, PhD, Predictive Analytics Scientist, dissects the op-ed and the potential dangers from the suggestions Topol makes.
Personal healthcare records have been an exhausted discussion with healthcare. From data blocking to MACRA, there have been many challenges and opportunities to leverage health records to make more informed decisions around care and empower patients throughout their healthcare journey. The op-ed adds to this long discussed topic, but only touches the surface on patients owning their records. It’s an impractical solution to a wider-issue. Emphasizing data security as the main reason for patient-owned data isn’t a strong argument, in fact, there is no way to remove all security vulnerabilities.
Within the piece, Topol notes:
“Patients have shown an overwhelming willingness to share their information for altruistic reasons (which far exceeds the track record of doctors and health systems when it comes to sharing data)."
Unwillingness on the part of healthcare organizations is cited as a drawback to the current state of healthcare data ownership, however, personal ownership of data is not going to simply give patients the ability to share. In fact, when patients are able to “share” data for research they are actually just allowing the data which is collected, stored and kept securely by their provider to be used in research—they are not actually “owners” of the data. Many patients do not have the ability, resources or motivation to adequately edit their health record. A wholesale shift in responsibility of data from healthcare organizations to the individual is fraught with challenges. If there was a reasonable way to keep, maintain and share medical data in a reliable way, then this would be a great idea. However, it’s not realistic to propose that the answer to having secure and accurate data is by putting the responsibility through “ownership” in an individual patient’s hands.
Case Study: How St. Joseph Hospital Achieved 12% Savings with Population Health Data
Due to rising healthcare costs and the shift to value-based care, many organizations are now looking to improve quality and reduce costs. In our recent case study, we highlight how St. Joseph Hospital, part of Covenant Health, was able to leverage our population health solution and consulting services to adopt an innovative approach to population health within its workforce, reducing per member per month (PMPM) costs by 12 percent and saving nearly $2.5 million in 2016.
Prior to MedeAnalytics, St. Joseph Hospital was unable to draw insights from its data. The health system wanted a solution that would allow them to reduce costs, while also improving the health and wellness of their employees.
Through our partnership, St. Joseph Hospital was able to identify which employee patient groups were at risk for chronic conditions and high-cost care. For example, they discovered that a high percentage of pharmacy spending came from specialty drugs and were able to save at least $100,000 with generic drug substitutions. The partnership also allowed the hospital to achieve the following:
- Reduce one employee’s $700 monthly prescription costs to $9
- Build a foundation for population health initiatives
- Devise a focused plan design around data insights
These accomplishments have established a building block for the healthcare organization to continue its march towards value-based care. “We see this as an important stepping stone towards our goal of having at least 50 percent of our payments being tied to value-based models by 2018,” says Richard Boehler, MD and CEO of St. Joseph Hospital.
Taking a Look Back - Our Top Webinars From 2016
At MedeAnalytics, we pride ourselves on acting as a resource for the health IT community. From case studies to webinars, we strive to provide our customers and the overall industry with the information they need to excel in the changing healthcare landscape. As we enter 2017, we are taking a look back and counting down our top three webinars from 2016.
3.) In third place is ICD-10 Analytics, which offered an overview on how to leverage data from peer organizations to execute CDI strategies. The webinar included insight from Trevor Snow and Adrienne Younger of Ardent Health Services. They both shared Ardent’s success story and explained how they were able to use our Revenue Integrity solution to identify documentation trends, pinpoint and address coding issues and more.
2.) In second place is Value-Based Contracting: Ease the Transition to Accountable Care. The November webinar highlighted how St. Joseph Hospital, part of Covenant Health, was able to use our Population Health solution to reduce their employee health plan costs in the first eight months of 2016. It also identified best practices that organizations can follow to efficiently transition to VBC.
1.) In first place is, Get Big Picture Insight into Your Revenue Cycle, which demonstrated how to leverage analytics to gain insight into the revenue cycle. The webinar highlighted how our customer, West Tennessee Healthcare, took control of their financial operations to improve AR days, reduce bad debt, understand denial root causes and more.
As we march forward into the New Year, we are excited to continue on as a go-to resource for the health IT community. Make sure to check back weekly for new blogs on pressing healthcare issues and the latest news from MedeAnalytics.