Effective Healthcare Decision Support for Leaders at Every Level: Three Problems that Leading Wisely Solves

December 14, 2018

Article Summary

In the high-pressured world of value-based care, healthcare leadership is more important than ever. Leaders need to make data-driven decisions and respond to the increasing demands of patients while cutting costs.

The right tools–ones that support today’s outcome-focused healthcare environment–can help leaders break through the noise to make effective decisions. This article shares three common problems faced by healthcare leadership and how Leading Wisely, a decision support tool helps them make informed decisions and guide their organizations forward. Three effective strategies for healthcare leadership include:

1. How to prevent communication breakdown.
2. How to break through measure madness.
3. How to alleviate information overload and siloed reporting.

Healthcare Decision Support
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Effective healthcare leadership is more important than ever. In the world of value-based care, strong leaders are vital to managing the increased demands of patients and shrinking budgets. However, trying to make data-driven, informed strategic decisions can be overwhelming and frustrating as leaders are often inundated with information and spend much of the time dealing with unanticipated problems rather than managing proactively.

The right tools–ones that support today’s high-pressure healthcare environment–can help leaders break through the noise to provide effective leadership. The Leading Wisely® dashboard solution is a healthcare decision-support tool designed for hospital leadership that provides real-time, robust data in order to help leaders make informed decisions and guide their organizations forward.

Three Strategies for Effective Healthcare Leadership

Healthcare leaders face several barriers to effective leadership: complicated communication, inefficient or outdated analytics, and information overload, to name a few. Three key strategies for addressing these problems are listed below, along with the ways that Leading Wisely can help.

1. Prevent Communication Breakdown

How do healthcare leaders effectively communicate organizational goals, adding context and transparency to how the goals are set, measured, and achieved?

As pressure mounts across all departments and roles to make improvements and cut costs, it’s important to increase transparency and communication around measurements and goal setting. It’s one thing to show a simple graph that shows the organization’s patient satisfaction scores have increased from 70 percent to 77 percent and the goal is 78 percent. It’s another thing to be able to add content and context around that goal, showing which departments did exceptionally well in order to both celebrate those successes and learn what those teams are doing in order to share the information with other departments.

Leading Wisely provides greater visibility into key measures and goals and helps prevent the communication breakdown that often happens from the time a goal is set to when it is achieved (or when it falls short). System-level goals are not always relevant to department goals, so leaders can help set realistic goals for each department. Those goals can be discussed, and context can be added to help keep leadership informed as they roll up to the system initiatives. Often, variability will be identified from goal-setting and opportunities can be addressed before they become a problem.

2. Break Through Measure Madness

How do healthcare leaders make proactive decisions rather than spending their time reacting to unanticipated problems?

Healthcare organizations are inundated by measures from both internal and external sources. And, oftentimes, the data needed for these is measures is stagnant, outdated, or lacking. Leading Wisely leverages the Health Catalyst Data Operating System (DOS™) which works in real-time to combine and analyze data from disparate sources of data and offers automated internal and external reporting.

Through strategic consulting services, Health Catalyst helps leaders drill into what matters most to the organization and Leading Wisely helps users filter through thousands of available measures to find, track, and share the most relevant measures or those measures that will have the biggest impact on performance. Leaders can select the balance measures that fit their objectives, set upper and lower control limits, and configure notifications when data changes. They can also set system targets and goals, forecast issues (such as capacity issues), and set notifications based on severity level to notify the right person in the organization, allowing for proactive solutions instead of reactive responses. When initiatives change or interventions are completed, it’s easy to track those changes and visualize impact.

3. Alleviate Information Overload and Siloed Reporting

How does a CFO find the information that’s important to her out of a lengthy, canned report intended for multiple users? How can leaders easily access and share important information across multiple facilities?

Leaders at every level are drowning in information. They are overrun with reports from multiple sources, geared towards various audiences, often contain conflicting data. Canned and static reports serve multiple functions for different users with separate goals. Multiple facilities can lead to problematic siloed reporting, lack of communication, and discrepancies.

Leading Wisely allows customization to create uniquely tailored reports for individual users. Health Catalyst works with the healthcare organization’s leadership team to take an inventory of all the reports, find out who is using what reports, and determine how to make those reports more powerful for the organization through customization. Variation resulting from multiple sources is reduced, unnecessary reports are eliminated, and customized reporting functionality is integrated and robust.

A Healthcare Decision-Support Tool for Outcomes Improvement

Leading Wisely provides effective decision support in an information-rich world that enables healthcare leaders to plan, strategize, and communicate by turning data in actionable information. Team members can keep leaders informed about goals through improved communication, easily find the measures important to them through robust, customized reporting, and easily access and share important information. Leading Wisely enables transparency of key initiatives and important measures, increasing accountability and helping make decisions easier.

Additional Reading

Would you like to learn more about this topic? Here are some articles we suggest:

  1. Addressing Healthcare Waste Through Centralization
  2. Introducing Touchstone: The Next-Generation Healthcare Benchmarking and Opportunity Prioritization Tool

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