Analytics

Insights

Eric Denna, PhD
Ryan Smith

Improving Strategic Engagement for Healthcare CIOs with Five Key Questions

A healthcare CIO’s role can demand such an intense focus on technology that IT leaders may struggle to find natural opportunities to engage with their C-suite peers in non-technical conversations. To bridge the gap, healthcare CIOs can answer five fundamental questions to better align their programs with organizational strategic goals and guide IT services to their full potential:

Whom do we serve?
What services do we provide?
How do we know we are doing a great job?
How do we provide the services?
How do we organize?

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Dale Sanders

Academic Medical Centers: A Triple Threat Approach to Leveraging Healthcare Analytics

Academic medical centers (AMCs) are a triple threat on the healthcare court with their combined medical center, education, and research sections. With a unique set of resources, AMCs have the ability to take a  comprehensive, holistic approach to patient care. However, one of the challenges they still face is utilizing healthcare analytics effectively within the patient care setting. With the Healthcare Analytics Adoption Model and other data expertise, AMCs can learn how to merge siloed data, while improving operations, and delivering the highest quality of care to each patient.

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Matt Denison

Healthcare Analytics for Payers: How to Thrive Through Shifting Financial Risk

To stay in sync with healthcare’s transition to value-based care, payers today must develop the analytics capability to support alternative payment models and drive more value to their members. Payers can follow an analytics roadmap to develop a strategy that extends their data, analytics, and risk management expertise to meet growing demands.
The analytics roadmap helps the payer meet these common challenges of establishing a data-driven culture:

Recruiting and retaining high-quality providers in a competitive market.
Managing increasing numbers of high-risk/high-cost members with limited resources.
Efficiently reacting to federal and state legislative and payment changes.
Controlling the rising costs of healthcare services and pharmaceuticals.

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Health Catalyst Editors

Four Steps to Effective Opportunity Analysis

Opportunity analysis uses data to identify potential improvement initiatives and quantifies the value of these initiatives—both in terms of patient care benefits and financial impact. This process is an effective way to find unwarranted and costly clinical variation and, in turn, develop strategies to reduce it, improving outcomes and saving costs along the way. Standardizing the opportunity analysis process makes it repeatable and prioritizes actionable opportunities.
Quarterly opportunity analysis should follow four steps:

Kicking off the analysis by getting analysts together to do preliminary analysis and brainstorm.
Engaging with clinicians to identify opportunities and, in the process, get clinician buy in.
Digging deeper into the suggested opportunities to prioritize those that offer the greatest benefits.
Presenting findings to the decision makers.

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Health Catalyst Editors

The Top Five 2019 Healthcare Trends

Bobbi Brown, MBA, and Stephen Grossbart, PhD have analyzed the biggest changes in the healthcare industry and 2018 and forecasted the trends to watch for in 2019. This report, based on their January 2019, covers the biggest 2019 healthcare trends, including the following:

The business of healthcare including new market entrants, business models and shifting strategies to stay competitive.
Increased consumer demand for more transparency
Continuous quality and cost control monitoring across populations.
CMS proposals to push ACOs into two-sided risk models.
Fewer process measures but more quality outcomes scrutiny for providers.

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Health Catalyst Editors

How to Build a Healthcare Analytics Team and Solve Strategic Problems

Health systems have vast amounts of data, but frequently struggle to use that data to solve strategic problems in a timely fashion. A healthcare analytics team, made up of the right people with the right tools and skillsets, can help address these challenges. This article walks through the steps organizations need to take to put an effective analytics team in place.
These include the following:

Recognizing the need for change.
Demonstrating the value of an analytics team.
Conducting a current state assessment.
Identifying solutions.
Implementing a phased approach.
Building a roadmap.
Making the pitch.
Putting the roadmap into action.

The article also includes the foundation skills to look for when putting together the team and tips on how best to organize.

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Josh Ferguson APRN, ACNP, ANP-BC

ICD-10 PCS: Harnessing the Power of Procedure Codes

The transition to ICD-10 in 2015 saw the number of available procedure codes increase from roughly 3,000 to more than 70,000. This change gives clinicians the ability to code procedures to a much higher degree of specificity and provides health systems the ability to unlock powerful clinical insights into how inpatient procedural care is delivered.
This article covers the benefits and drawback of ICD-10 PCS, as well as concrete ways health systems can use these procedure codes to provide new clinical insights. The article also walks through the anatomy of the seven-digit alphanumeric codes and provides specific clinical examples of how healthcare organizations can slice and dice this data.

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Dan LeSueur

How to Run Your Healthcare Analytics Operation Like a Business

A robust data analytics operation is necessary for healthcare systems’ survival. Just like any business, the analytics enterprise needs to be well managed using the principles of successful business operations.
This article walks through how to run an analytics operation like a business using the following five-question framework:

Who does the analytics team serve and what are those customers trying to do?
What services does the analytics team provide to help customers accomplish their goals?
How does the analytics team know they’re doing a great job and how do they communicate that effectively to the leadership team?
What is the most efficient way to provide analytics services?
What is the most effective way to organize?

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Leslie Falk

Increase Healthcare Analytics ROI Through the Rapid Response Analytics Solution

Health systems feel mounting pressure to demonstrate ROI from analytics investments but are faced with inefficacies and delays. Fortunately, the Rapid Response Analytics Solution delivers a 10x increase in analytics productivity and a 90 percent decrease in the time required to develop new analytic insights. The Rapid Response Analytics Solution solves these tough analytics problems through two primary elements: curated, modular data kits called DOS Marts; and Population Builder, a powerful self-service tools that lets any time of user, from physician executive to frontline nurse, explore data and quality build cohorts of patients without relying on IT staff and with no need for sophisticated and customized SQL and data science coding.

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Health Catalyst Editors

How to Evaluate Emerging Healthcare Technology With Innovative Analytics

As healthcare systems are pressured to cut costs and still provide high-quality care, they will need to look across the care continuum for answers, reduce variation in care, and look to emerging technologies. This article walks through how to evaluate the safety and effectiveness and of emerging healthcare technology and prioritize high-impact improvement projects using a robust data analytics platform. Topics covered include:

The importance of identifying variation in innovation.
Ways to improve outcomes and decrease costs.
The value of an analytics platform.
The reliable information that produce sparks for innovation.
Identifying and evaluating emerging healthcare technology.
Knowing what data to use.
The difference between efficacy and effectiveness in evaluation of emerging healthcare technology.

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Health Catalyst Editors

Reducing Hospital Readmissions: A Case for Integrated Analytics

Health systems continue to prioritize reducing hospital readmissions as part of their value-based payment and population health strategies. But organizations that aren’t fully integrating analytics into their readmission reduction workflows struggle to meet improvement goals. By embedding predictive models across the continuum of care, versus isolated them in episodes of care, health systems can leverage analytics for meaningful improvement.
Organizations that integrate predictive models into readmissions reduction workflows have achieved as much as a 40 percent reduction in risk-adjusted readmissions indexes. Effective analytics integration strategies use a multidisciplinary development approach to meet the needs of a patient’s entire care team and deliver common tools for all involved in the patient’s healthcare journey.

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John Wadsworth

The Number One Skill for a Healthcare Data Analyst

In today’s high-pressured world of healthcare, health systems don’t need report writers. They need highly valuable healthcare data analysts. A top healthcare data analyst becomes a partner for clinical and operational improvement by using a five-step method for solving complex problems.
This article walks through this step-by-step approach and demonstrates its application using the real-world example of building a diabetes registry. In addition to this specialized approach to solving problems, the article discusses the five essential skills for data analysts needed in the diabetes registry example:

Data query
Data movement
Data modeling
Data analysis
Data visualization

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John Wadsworth

6 Essential Data Analyst Skills for Your Healthcare Organization

Healthcare organizations are turning to the enterprise data warehouse (EDW) as the foundation of their analytics strategy. But simply implementing an EDW doesn’t guarantee an organization’s success. One obstacle organizations come up against is that their analytics team members don’t have the right skills to maximize the effectiveness of the EDW. The following six skills are essential for analytics team members: structured query language (SQL); the ability to perform export, transform, and load (ETL) processes; data modeling; data analysis; business intelligence (BI) reporting; and the ability to tell a story with data.

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Health Catalyst Editors

The Digitization of Healthcare: Why the Right Approach Matters and Five Steps to Get There

While many industries are leveraging digital transformation to accelerate their productivity and quality, healthcare ranks among the least digitized sectors. Healthcare data is largely incomplete when it comes to fully representing a patient’s health and doesn’t adequately support diagnoses and treatment, risk prediction, and long-term health care plans. But even with the obvious urgency for increased healthcare digitization, the industry must raise this trajectory with sensitivity to the impacts on clinicians and patients. The right digital strategy will not only aim for more comprehensive information on patient health, but also leverage data to empower and engage the people involved.
Health systems can follow five guidelines to digitize in a sustainable, impactful way:

Achieve and maintain clinician and patient engagement.
Adopt a modern commercial digital platform.
Digitize the assets (the patients) and the processes.
Understand the importance of data to drive AI insights.
Prioritize data volume.

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Ryan Smith

The Missing Ingredient in Healthcare Analytics: The Executive Sponsor

Despite the complexity of healthcare analytics, one key strategy for effective, sustainable analytics stands out: designating an executive sponsor to oversee the program. This sponsor is a C-suite level leader who’s committed to championing analytics throughout the organization and has the influence and relationships to drive widespread outcomes improvement.
Healthcare executives can use four criteria to identify a great executive sponsor for their analytics programs:

Have a single accountable leader.
Find a sponsor with passion for and knowledge about data.
Choose organizational clout and a vision for analytics over a specific title.
Build a partnership with the CIO.

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Imran Qureshi

How to Turn Data Analysts into Data Scientists

Healthcare data scientists are in high demand. This shortage limits the ability of healthcare organizations to leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI). Health systems must better utilize their data analysts, and, where possible, turn some data analysts into data scientists.
This report covers the following:

Healthcare use cases and which ones data analysts can take the lead on.
Specific steps for turning data analysts into data scientists.
How to identify the best candidates among your data analysts.
Recommended resources to get started on an AI journey.

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Elaine St. James, BSN, RN, CPHQ
Josh Ferguson APRN, ACNP, ANP-BC
Nancy Casazza, BSN, MMI, RN

How to Achieve Your Clinical Data Analytics Goals

Healthcare organizations know that they need to an effective clinical data analytics strategy to improve and survive in today’s challenging environment. In order to make these necessary improvements, healthcare leaders need to establish clear goals for their clinical data analytics initiatives.
Achieving these goals requires clinical teams to clearly identify problems and plan for how to achieve them. This article walks improvement teams through sometimes confusing process of identifying problems, setting clear, achievable goals, and common pitfalls along the way. Topics covered include:

Six categories of clinical data.
Three types of goals: outcome, process, and balance.
How to write an outcome goal.
Internal vs. External Benchmarks.
Mitigation strategies.
Getting clinical buy-in.

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John Wadsworth

What Healthcare Analysts Can Learn About Data Analytics From the World of Surfing

It might sound surprising, but the world of surfing just might hold key observations about the world of healthcare analytics. After watching the Pipeline Masters in Oahu, John Wadsworth, Technical Operations VP at Health Catalyst, took away three key principles from the world of surfing that are important for healthcare analysts:

Understand the Changing Environment.
Know When to Say No, So You Can Say Yes to the Right Opportunity.
Get Good at Positioning.

This article also offers insights on moving from reactive to prescriptive analytics, the top five technical skills data analysts need, and a four step model for problem solving.

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Health Catalyst Editors

Three Principles for Making Healthcare Data Analytics Actionable

Data is everywhere. But without a plan to extract meaning from data and turn insights into action, data can’t impact outcomes. Generating value from data takes work, but it can be done. To create compelling data insights that promote action, health systems can follow three guiding principles for actionable healthcare data analytics as well as hire analysts with seven important skills.
Three principles form the foundation for actionable healthcare data analytics:

Balance investments.
Hire generalists over specialists.
Develop a team that’s highly aligned and loosely coupled.

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Mike Dow

Healthcare NLP: Four Essentials to Make the Most of Unstructured Data

Many health systems are eager to embrace the capability of natural language processing (NLP) to access the vast patient insights recorded as unstructured text in clinical notes and records. Many healthcare data and analytics teams, however, aren’t experienced in or prepared for the unique challenges of working with text and, specifically, don’t have the knowledge to transform unstructured text into a usable format for NLP.
Data engineers can follow four need-to-know principles to meet and overcome the challenges of making unstructured text available for advanced NLP analysis:

Text is bigger and more complex.
Text comes from different data sources.
Text is stored in multiple areas.
Text user documentation patterns matter.

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Sarah Provan, BS
Caitlin Kelly

The Number One Secret of Highly Effective Healthcare Data Analysts

Data-driven quality improvement is propelling healthcare transformation. The ability to strategically leverage healthcare data is essential, making highly effective data analysts more valuable than ever. So, what attributes differentiate a good data analyst from a great analyst?
Stephen Covey’s well-known book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” has long had far-reaching impacts in the business world. These same principles are relevant today and applicable in the world of healthcare analytics. Learn how Covey’s second habit, “Begin With the End in Mind,” drives great healthcare data analysts.

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Jared Crapo
Linda Simovic

Cloud-Based Open-Platform Data Solutions: The Best Way to Meet Today’s Growing Health Data Demands

Smartphone applications, home monitoring equipment, genomic sequencing, and social determinants of health are adding significantly to the scope of healthcare data, creating new challenges for health systems in data management and storage. Traditional on-premises data warehouses, however, don’t have the capacity or capabilities to support this new era of bigger healthcare data.
Organizations must add more secure, scalable, elastic, and analytically agile cloud-based, open-platform data solutions that leverage analytics as a service (AaaS). Moving toward cloud hosting will help health systems avoid the five common challenges of on-premises data warehouses:

Predicting future demand is difficult.
Infrastructure scaling is lumpy and inelastic.
Security risk mitigation is a major investment.
Data architectures limit flexibility and are resource intensive.
Analytics expertise is misallocated.

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Jeff Selander

Employer Health Plans: Keys to Lowering Cost, Boosting Benefits

Employers that offer robust employee health plans at affordable costs are more likely to attract and retain a great workforce. Healthcare, however, is often a top expense for organizations, making balancing attractive benefits with attractive costs a complex undertaking. Employers need a deep understanding of employee populations and opportunities to manage health plan costs without sacrificing quality.
An analytics-driven approach to employee population health management gives employers insight into two key steps to lower healthcare costs and enhance benefits:

Manage easily fixed cost issues.
Use healthcare cost savings to fund expanded benefits.

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Ann Tinker, MSN, RN
Dan Hopkins

Transforming Healthcare Analytics: Five Critical Steps

By committing to transforming healthcare analytics, organizations can eventually save hundreds of millions of dollars (depending on their size) and achieve comprehensive outcomes improvement. The transformation helps organizations achieve the analytics efficiency needed to navigate the complex healthcare landscape of technology, regulatory, and financial challenges and the challenges of value-based care.
To achieve analytics transformation and ROI within a short timeframe, organizations can follow five phases to become data driven:

Establish a data-driven culture.
Acquire and access data.
Establish data stewardship.
Establish data quality.
Spread data use.

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Russ Staheli, MPH

Advanced Analytics Holds the Key to Achieve the Triple Aim and Survive Value-based Purchasing

Every hospital and health system has to juggle significant IT needs with a limited budget. In the middle of these demands and possibilities, hospital executives have to prioritize and decide which technology solutions are the most critical to the health of their organization. I call these most critical IT solutions “survival software.” Advanced clinical analytics solutions are the survival software of the near future, as they really hold the key to achieving the triple aim and survive value-based purchasing.

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