The Best Organizational Structure for Healthcare Analytics

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Your goal is to build or implement an effective and robust enterprise data warehouse (EDW) for your healthcare organization. But did you realize the success of your goal may hinge upon your healthcare’s organizational structure?

Why should a hospital’s organizational structure have anything to do with the success of the IT department’s EDW? Because you can’t expect or force other departments to use your EDW. Instead, they need to recognize the value of the data and want to use it. The best way to make this happen is by developing an organizational structure that supports healthcare analytics.

Why You Need Both: An EDW and a Supportive Organizational Structure

By design, an EDW integrates data from across your enterprise. In healthcare, for example, you could tie cost accounting data, hospital billing data, clinical data, and patient satisfaction data. Done correctly, this level of integration could help your organization analyze the following scenarios:

  1. Which care is the most expensive, affordable, or profitable to deliver?
  2. Which providers deliver care that results in the best clinical outcomes?
  3. Which providers do patients rate highly for satisfaction?

Data-backed responses to each of these scenarios hold tremendous value for a given department within a healthcare organization. In my experience, clinical and financial leaders are interested in finding helpful, new tools, such as an EDW or analytics, but they’re lacking in technical expertise. IT on the other hand, has the required technical skill base needed to build the EDW but often lacks operational insight to drive quality improvement initiatives in the clinical, financial, and operational arenas.

While IT may indeed be the department responsible for the development and implementation of the enterprise data warehouse, IT is not responsible for the adoption of the data warehouse by departments around the organization. But if the IT department isn’t responsible for demonstrating EDW value, then who is? Imagine, however, if experts from all of the key stakeholders could work together.

Herein lies a challenge that healthcare organizations wrestle with today. That is, understanding the appropriate quid pro quo relationship between IT and data-dependent departments to demonstrate ROI on an EDW investment. Without this understanding of symbiotic dependency, IT is viewed as a parasitic cost center.

Creating Cross-Functional Teams to Drive Change Through Healthcare Analytics

After working with many healthcare organizations to help them implement the appropriate EDW for

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