There’s no way around it: the good people in analytics, reporting, and data warehousing departments in the healthcare provider industry are getting hit from all sides these days. On the positive side, there is an increased focus on measuring clinical quality with the intent to produce real quality improvement proved by real data. This increased focus is coming from both outside the organization, in the form of additional reporting requirements from the usual suspects (CMS, JCAHO, state organizations) and from the data requirements brought on by emerging population health models, as well as from inside the organization as clinician-led teams are being empowered and supported to make improvements to clinical quality.
All of this is good for the patient, and all of this requires more and more data to measure the outcomes of these efforts. And it’s not just raw data that is needed, but complex calculated metrics that blend information from multiple clinical and administrative systems. So tickets are submitted, request forms are filled out, and/or phone calls are made to already overburdened teams asking for more reports and data extracts.
On the negative side, there is increasing pressure on departments in most healthcare provider organizations to trim budgets or at least stay budget neutral due to shifting patient volumes and falling reimbursement rates. So how do data and analytics departments handle the increased demand (in every sense of the word) with the same or fewer resources? How do we do more with less? How might we need to shift our thinking to allow for new ways of accomplishing these monumental tasks?
In the next few blog posts, I hope to provide some practical answers to these important questions. So stay tuned!