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Transforming Data Into Actionable Insights

In a recent meeting, a CFO shared a common frustration among healthcare systems—having an abundance of data but lacking meaningful information. This trend is seen across the nation as health systems struggle to make sense of the statistics and metrics they collect. That raises the question: How can you turn this data into insights you can act on to improve performance?

Health systems are constantly acquiring new data sets and advancing their applications but often struggle to effectively utilize them. The focus tends to be on data acquisition instead of applying it. This challenge is further complicated by the wave of mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare industry. This results in varying IT platforms, disparate electronic medical records (EMRs) and a multitude of data sets and software platforms.

To overcome this challenge, health systems need to shift their perspective. Data alone isn’t the answer; it’s a means to an end. The true value lies in extracting actionable insights from the data. This requires not only collecting and organizing data effectively but also prioritizing and contextualizing it within the broader strategic objectives of the organization.

To illustrate this transformation, let’s look at a real-life example. A health system partnered with our consumer innovation team to analyze their market share and assess patient loyalty. They wanted to identify areas where patients were seeking services outside their system. By reviewing claims data from the past four years within their designated service area, we uncovered valuable insights.

One immediate finding was that patients who initially engaged with service lines like physical or occupational therapy were more likely to remain loyal to a system, and increased their healthcare spend overall. This highlights the importance of offering access to entry point services like physical therapy, occupational therapy and primary care. By understanding patient behaviors and preferences, the health system could optimize revenue and improve patient satisfaction to reduce leakage outside the system.

By strategically and gradually employing and unifying their data, the health system could move beyond being “data rich, information poor.” They realized that focusing on data analysis in healthcare decision-making could drive meaningful change and improve patient outcomes. This transformation allowed them to ultimately transform healthcare delivery for the better.

The key to making data actionable lies in shifting the focus from data acquisition to extracting meaningful insights. Health systems must collect and organize data effectively, while also prioritizing and contextualizing it within their strategic objectives. By doing so, they can unlock the true potential of their data, drive meaningful change and ultimately improve healthcare delivery.

How do you get started? Here’s a few tips:

  1. Determine if you have the necessary data to accurately address your challenges.
  2. Determine how you will synthesize and analyze the data to extract meaningful insights.
  3. Evaluate how you are prioritizing which challenges get the attention of your efforts to improve performance.

Are you ready to take the next step? Reach out to us today.

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