There is no arguing that data analytics has the potential to radically transform the face of healthcare, by enabling organizations to deliver better care, reduce readmission, foster population health, and decrease the per capita cost. Organizations on the threshold of embedding analytics into patient care need to devise a well-structured and orchestrated approach to ensure that they get the initiative going in the right direction. If leveraged properly, it can deliver huge benefits for your patients and the hospital itself. On the contrary, if some important steps are ignored, you run the risk of ending up with a mere IT experiment rather than a data analytics program!
For the uninitiated, here’s a list of things to remember before signing off on your first healthcare analytics program:
- Create a roadmap and set goals
First things first. For healthcare organizations preparing for their first stint at healthcare analytics, it is imperative that they have a road map in place, which would take them off to a good start as well as ensure success in their endeavors. Knowing precisely what one wishes to achieve is the bedrock of the big data program. For instance, it is important to understand whether you are trying to solve an existing business problem, or making future predictions, or simply wanting to enhance patient care whilst reducing the operating cost. Without devising such definitive goals, one is always under the radar of encountering failure. It is a good idea to give the project a test run, before formally launching and integrating it into your organization.
- Early stakeholder involvement
It has been proved beyond doubt that poor adoption is a significant cause of failure in healthcare analytics programs. The only way to avoid this pitfall is to involve and engage stakeholders in the project right from the beginning. This goes a long way in defining a value-based model, reducing resistance, developing capabilities to act on the insights, and driving cultural change.
- Comprehensive approach towards data
Apart from working on unstructured data, it is essential to consider other forms and sources of data too. You may be unaware that there are insights hidden in structured data. Then there might be some unconventional sources, such as social media & web log, from where you can dig answers pertaining to the lifestyle of your patients. A comprehensive approach lets you have a look at the bigger picture, thereby bringing you closer to the accomplishment of your goals.
- Ensure that it easy to understand & implement
When the question of successful adoption arises, simplicity plays a key role. If you want the program to be open to more minds, and not remain confined only to a bunch of specialists, then you need to ensure that the design is user-friendly, intuitive, and iterative! Further, it is important to enable discovery at down-the-line level of clinicians, rather than adopting a forceful top-down approach. Of course, making use of the right technological tools also influences the simplicity and usability aspects.
- Make sure that it adds value
Having an up-to-date dashboard, which draws data from multiple sources, would surely look like an achievement, but if it is unable to deliver actionable insights that can save time, cost, or bring about enhanced patient care, it will be practically of no use! Before initiating the project, it is essential to check whether the dashboard will help clinicians and other academic staff to do their job any better. Further, one also needs to see what impact it can create on the patients and the organization at large.
Taking into account the above-mentioned pointers will surely ensure that you get started in the right direction with the right mindset. However, some missteps early in the process may completely veer off the healthcare analytics project. One needs to remember that the essence lies in getting the basics right by choosing the most appropriate technology and partner that can together pave the way for overall success for your organization!
Acer Innovation is a leading edge data analytics firm providing consulting services across a diverse range of industries. For more information on its use of technology and services provided, one may visit http://www.acerinnovation.com/