Effective data analytics are possible with HIT optimization
“Water, water everywhere/Nor any drop to drink” is a famous verse from Samuel Coleridge’s epic poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Coleridge was writing about the sea, but healthcare provider organizations could write a similar verse about the data they are drowning in from their electronic health record (EHR) systems and other sources.
The challenge is harnessing all this data to guide care-quality and financial performance improvement efforts, which many provider organizations lack the time and professional resources to accomplish. Combined with pressures from government and commercial health insurers to improve care-quality metrics while reducing costs, this sea of untapped data has two-thirds of provider organizations naming data analytics as one of their top three priorities this year.
Despite this goal, clinical and financial data is still stuck in silos in most health systems, communities and states. However, there is good news! Providers accessing the information they need for effective analysis may be easier than they think and they may already have all the HIT they need in their EHR and financial systems. The next step is to optimize the existing technology and develop workflows that will leverage these tools to improve clinical outcomes, lower costs and meet quality guidelines. Here’s how: