A variety of factors play a key role in healthcare analytics for quality and performance improvement in the United States. Many healthcare organizations are working hard to undertake some type of quality improvement initiative. These initiatives have very good goals, only a few are truly sustainable. Increased spending is not enough, even though it is prevalent within the industry, to truly create sustainable change within the healthcare industry.
What Does It Take for Change to Occur in the Healthcare Industry?
While many healthcare organizations create and pursue performance improvement within the patient experience and clinical outcomes, only a few actually take place and, those that do, often do not lack of time, money and resources to keep them on track long enough to create sustainable improvement in the industry.
There are numerous working pieces to the puzzle of improving efficiency within the healthcare industry. One-off projects, which are very common, lack an organized structure that works alongside other components and initiatives within the healthcare industry. This leads to simple failure on all ends. To create sustainable improvement in healthcare, organizations must put some focus and effort into understanding, gathering, and applying healthcare analytics.
How Can Analytics Enable Improvement in the Healthcare Industry?
To improve healthcare, organizations must take advantage of innovative tools and resources. A key component of this is analytical information and data.
Many healthcare organizations have access to key data. The first step in facilitating improvement is to gather this data. Data sources include operational, financial, clinical, and claims data. The data must not only be collected but also be shared quickly and easily.
Base Change on Data: Data becomes one of the most important components to building sustainable healthcare initiatives. These incentives should be created and planned based on data, not on simple ideas or potential benefit.
Ensure System Can Scale: As the data begins to be used in an analytic system, it needs to be able to scale. This means it needs to change and mold to fit various levels of healthcare.
As Health Catalyst points out, data has various benefits as an organization moves up the hierarchy of the Analytics Adoption Model (as noted in Figure 1). Each step allows the organization to compete more effectively.
How Does Analytics Impact and Improve Healthcare?
There are dozens of ways analytics can impact and even improve the healthcare industry as a whole as well as working to improve individual components of it. Consider a few of the benefits it can offer.
- According to McKinsey & Company, the potential savings from the implementation of data-inspired initiatives and data analytics systems can save the industry as much as $300 billion every year
- Predicting outcomes for individual patients can be lifesaving. The use of predictive analytics, for example, allows for massive amounts of data to be used to predict the outcome of a variety of treatments and solutions. That data may include information from past treatments as well as the latest medical research
- It improves performance of the entire healthcare system to the patient. This includes life-savings methods, but also the day to day operations that patients interact with and often struggle to benefit from in the current design
- It aids in tracking quality measures. The amount of time and money spent on non-performing or successful initiatives could be better applied to programs that are impacted. That’s because quality tracking methods can enable better and faster decisions
- Analytics can also be beneficial in streamlining operations. This, of course, cuts costs but it also enhances every other component of the healthcare system. It aids in improving margins, reduces waste, and provides a clear picture of cost structure
Healthcare Analytics for Quality and Performance Improvement Matters
Healthcare analytics for quality and performance improvement is vastly necessary. It is one of the main reasons the industry continues to struggle to meet the needs of patients. Yet, without data, that is already available, it is nearly impossible for efficiencies to become evident. Rather, data analytics is often pushed to the side even though it is an affordable and accessible solution for improving virtually every task performed within a hospital or healthcare setting. Data analytics systems are by far one of the most valuable of all tools organizations have at their hands to improve their bottom line while meeting patient needs.