Best Practices for an Enterprise Analytics Strategy
The healthcare economy is changing rapidly – from increased consolidation to the rise of consumerism in care, healthcare organizations face a market that requires a holistic understanding of their enterprise (from clinical to claims data) to succeed. To stay competitive and deliver the best quality of care and value, providers should think like payers and payers like providers. As such, strengthening integrated care remains a hurdle for organizations to overcome as they seek to improve clinical quality, reduce operational costs and support care management. To achieve these goals, healthcare systems must be able to have access to data not just within their own organization, but from outside sources – which is often siloed.
A HFMA Health Care 2020 report on consolidation points out that to succeed in an increasingly competitive marketplace, healthcare organizations are investing in data analytics capabilities to help them understand their patient – and entire business – better. While investing in analytics is an integral key to success, an overall best-practice strategy must be developed to make data actionable. Here are five best practices that should be adopted to initiate an analytics strategy:
- Identify enterprise champions – To ensure buy-in from key internal stakeholders, leadership and process changes must occur. Change to the entire organization’s attitude on data governance must come from the top and trickle down to the bottom.
- Find value in existing data – As new payment models are adopted, healthcare providers need to design a technical infrastructure that can integrate payer, health system and medical group data within an enterprise healthcare delivery system to create value. Organizations should leverage their core data set and claims data, but also pull in existing ancillary data to have a better understanding of their organization.
- Create data-driven culture – Establishing an enterprise analytics department ensures that the entire business is standardizing and handling data consistently, but also encourages the new analytics department to champion a holistic approach towards data management. Champions should include representatives across all departments, from clinical to claims teams.
- Outline and developing manageable goals – Instead of tackling all problems at once, start small. Is the organization focusing on obtaining a streamline, single view of their entire business? By setting a goal with real, manageable next steps, all stakeholders can quickly perceive value in an enterprise initiative.
- Train, train, train – Repeated trainings and regular communications across the enterprise ensure long-term initiative success. By holding teams accountable, while empowering them with resources to succeed, data sharing efforts across the enterprise are bound to improve.
Changing goals and evolving organizational structures require players in the healthcare industry to pivot quickly. Whether it’s to meet increasing consumer demands or to better align on value-based initiatives, organizations will need to rely even more on data to achieve their goals. When organizations embrace analytics, and have a go-to data analytics strategy, the procurement and actionable next steps will come naturally.
To learn more on how to take action with your data, 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.
Springing into Spring: Health IT Trends to Look For
After a long, cold, winter, the melting snow and warmer weather means spring is finally here. The health IT industry has been busy this past winter with the HIMSS17 conference and the stalling of the GOP health care bill, to name a few. At HIMSS, healthcare leaders were busy discussing machine learning, analytics and population health and sharing new technologies aimed at improving patient care. After the GOP healthcare bill was pulled amid widespread reports that they did not have enough votes to pass it, Republicans say repealing the ACA is back on the agenda, adding to the uncertainty that has faced the industry under the new administration. To kick off the new season, here are a few of the trends that we are keeping an eye out for:
- Precision Medicine – Despite concerns regarding the overall effectiveness of interoperability and big data, a survey by NEJM Catalyst Insights Report found that precision medicine data will have a major influence on the industry in the coming years. This new approach to treatment will be used to eliminate medication errors, improve care, treat disease and help provide feedback for physicians.
- Leveraging Big Data to Solve Population Health Issues - The future of healthcare lies in data but its application is constantly shifting. With the data generated from EHRs and wearables, organizations are faced with growing amounts of useful insight, that in many cases will go unleveraged due to silos or a lack of analytics tools. Throughout the winter, we saw how communities are leveraging data to tackle the opioid crisis, pathologists are using it to detect breast cancer and providers are using it to reduce waste. We will be keeping an eye out to see how organizations will continue to leverage big data to draw insights and uncover new tools.
Analytics Are Nothing Without Action
Although the investment in health IT innovations continue to rise, with 56 percent of providers investing in IT this year, there still remains a disconnect on how to best leverage the data and insights that organizations have at their disposal. With a new healthcare economy focused on value, provider consolidation, consumers and changing reimbursement models, healthcare organizations need a holistic, enterprise-wide view of their business. They also need valuable data insights to tap into cost savings opportunities.
In this week's post, we continue to offer best practices that healthcare organizations can utilize to make the most of their analytics’ investments and turn those insights into action. Here are three key strategies that can make a significant impact on an organization’s financial health:
- Offer Self-Service Access to Business Users: In many cases, organizations have invested in creating an enterprise data warehouse, but the adoption of the platform is often delayed due to IT bottlenecks in reporting and analysis. By empowering business users with the ability to perform their own analysis to identify the root causes of trends, the speed from insight to action will increase.
Find New Value in Existing Claims and Billing Data: Most data warehouses focus on aggregating clinical data from EMRs, but many healthcare organizations fail to recognize the potential in claims and billing data. Most data models are built on this type of data, so their value should not be underestimated. Organizations should also recognize that most risk models and clinical measures, including CMS quality measures and HEDIS measures, are based largely on this data. By using this insight, organizations can better prepare for the changing risk models and clinical measures.
Learn to Work with Payer Data: As new payment models blur the lines between providers and payers, leveraging payer data has never been so important. By creating a data infrastructure and training your staff to manage and analyze payer data, organizations can develop analytics for utilization measures and per member per month (PMPM) cost. These insights can help support new business models and uncover nuances to create added value across the enterprise.
To obtain more strategies, check out our latest whitepaper, Harnessing Enterprise Data Analytics for the New Healthcare Economy, here. Learn more about integrated analytics for the healthcare enterprise here.
Enterprise Analytics and Beyond: A Q&A with our Vice President of Healthcare Provider Solutions
In a previous blog, we explored the important approaches and best practices that the payer industry needs to keep in mind to succeed amidst a climate of uncertainty. For this week’s blog post, we are exploring top provider concerns in a conversation with John Hansel, our vice president of healthcare provider solutions. During a Q&A, John shared his perspectives on the challenges that lay ahead for providers and the continued importance of investing in Enterprise Analytics (EA) strategies in today’s rapidly changing healthcare environment.
1. Major healthcare industry transformations will happen in 2017 but what will remain constant? And how can an EA strategy help organizations prepare?
Collaboration between payers and providers will be important regardless of any potential repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Since the ACA passage, providers have assumed more risk which has led them to acquiring or establishing health plans to help manage and ease the financial burden. In fact, PriceWaterhouse Coopers estimates that 50 percent of health systems have applied or intend to apply for an insurance license. With healthcare organizations establishing their own health plans, they will need to continue to invest in robust analytics to properly manage insight. This collaboration creates more data as information flows in from payers, providers and patients. More data means more information to sift through, making it even more challenging to turn that information into action. The investment in analytics will thus remain a top priority as the technology can offer providers a holistic view of financial, clinical and operational data that fuel cost-saving decisions. This holistic approach to data will help providers better manage the risk they are taking on and gauge areas for improvement whether it be gaps in care or medication adherence.
2. To succeed with an EA strategy, healthcare organizations need to integrate analytics and data into everyone’s day-to-day. How is this done?
There are many challenges that arise when establishing any type of analytics strategy – from a lack of leadership, proper IT support and the associated cost. Some of this is out of our control. However, there are proactive approaches that can be taken to ensure a seamless EA strategy:
- Train and educate the clinical leadership – Healthcare organizations need to invest in their people and training. For example, clinicians often don’t have the background or bandwidth to tackle analytical insights without guidance and support. As such, clinical leaders would benefit from educational courses, workflow conversations and other prep to ensure that they can direct their clinical teams in a data-driven manner.
- Establish realistic goals – Training and education investments are doomed to fail if a provider executive doesn’t establish realistic goals. To ensure that data-driven leadership and approaches become part of a clinical staff’s day-to-day, set realistic goals and timelines. And be patient – this will be an iterative approach vs. a one and done.
- Empower self-service - Putting the tools in the hands of business decision makers can ensure real-time decisions are being made towards important organizational goals. There are various tools and interfaces that business leaders can be trained on that are geared with business end-users in mind. This ensures that insights are getting delivered and implemented throughout the healthcare organization and not in an IT-bottleneck.
Trends in Review: Looking Ahead to HIMSS17
Each year, the HIMSS conference brings together the brightest health IT professionals, clinicians, c-suite executives and vendors to discuss cutting-edge innovations and developments in the industry. With HIMSS17 right around the corner, here are the top three trends that we’ll likely see dominating the headlines:
- Big Data and Analytics Will Continue to Push the Industry Forward – A recent poll conducted by Healthcare IT News shows that Big Data and Analytics will be two of the most talked about topics at HIMSS this year. This has been a continued trend as there have been major investments in this field. In fact, a recent IDC report found that the analytics market will reach $43 billion by 2020. Analytics is a crucial tool for healthcare organizations, as it offers them a holistic view of their patient’s outcomes and cost saving opportunities within their supply chain. Healthcare organizations are continuing to invest in solutions that lend insights to improve patient outcomes while keeping costs down.
- Revolutionize Data Sharing – Sharing data securely will continue to be a focal point as the industry continues to track towards quality outcomes for patients. Despite progress, this effort has not been met without challenges. In fact, 45 to 54 percent of physicians reported burnout from using EHRs. Many believe blockchain, which is a sequence of every transaction made in the patient’s history, is the solution. John Halamaka, chief information officer at Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, recently spoke about its potential and stated: “it’s the right time in our history to take a fresh approach to data sharing in health care.” The conference will shine light onto the industries willingness to work towards a new form of data sharing.
- Staying Competitive via Payer-Provider Collaboration – As the industry becomes more patient-centric and value-driven, payers and providers will need to increase focus on collaboration. Patients are becoming even more engaged in their own healthcare and will look to providers who can offer the best value and experience for their service. Health plans, a recent Deloitte report noted, will need to harness advanced information technology to assist in important interactions with members to offer value. Through payer-provider collaboration, organizations will have the opportunity to stay competitive and achieve patient satisfaction.
Amidst new legislation and investment in the health IT sector, tracking towards value is full steam ahead. Payers and providers will need to invest in solutions that help them achieve the triple aim. If you plan on attending this year’s conference, make sure to stop by and visit us at MP34 to learn more about our cloud-based payer and provider tools that help uncover business insights for nearly 1,500 healthcare organizations.