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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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Weekly News Roundup: January 18, 2019

Healthcare Project Management in the News Project management is increasingly important to the healthcare industry because it can help control costs, manage risk, and speed improvement project outcomes. This week, we’re sharing news about healthcare project management, from the age-old debate of agile vs. waterfall methodologies to pragmatic approaches to project management in outcomes improvement projects.   Healthcare Project Management Techniques: A Pragmatic Approach to Outcomes Improvement Healthcare leaders are working hard to continuously refine and advance their processes in order to improve patient care, reduce costs, …

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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 four-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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Rapid Response Analytics Accelerates Analytics ROI

Rapid Response Analytics (RRA), an application suite that consists of two elements: curated, modular data kits called DOS™ Marts and Population Builder, a powerful self-service tool that lets any type of user, from physician executive to frontline nurses and population health teams explore their data and quickly build populations without needing to know how to write SQL and data science code. RRA increases an analytics team’s productivity by up to 10x and reduces its time to develop analytics by as much as 90 percent. Analysts can spend more time focusing on key strategic analysis and less time on repetitive tasks that can lead to inconsistent results and a backlog of requests. Learning Objectives:

  • Discover how RRA is like a meal delivery kit that allows you to take components and customize them to quickly tailor and deliver meaningful insights.
  • Learn about DOS™ Marts and Population Builder and how they drive consistency and efficiency, without needing to know SQL and data science coding.
  • Understand how to use RRA to increase the value of your analytics team and get them operating at the top of their function.
Please join us and learn how RRA can help you achieve a 10x increase in productivity and reduce your time to develop new analytics reports by more than 90 percent.

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Emergency Department Quality Improvement: Transforming the Delivery of Care

Overcrowding in the emergency department has been associated with increased inpatient mortality, increased length of stay, and increased costs for admitted patients. ED wait times and patients who leave without seeing a qualified medical provider are indicators of overcrowding. A data-driven system approach is needed to address these problems and redesign the delivery of emergency care. This article explores common problems in emergency care and insights into embarking on a successful quality improvement journey to transform care delivery in the ED, including an exploration of the following topics:

  • A four-step approach to redesigning the delivery of emergency care.
  • Understanding ED performance.
  • Revising High-Impact Workflows.
  • Revising Staffing Patterns.
  • Setting Leadership Expectations.
  • Improving the Patient Experience.

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Weekly News Roundup: January 11, 2019

Healthcare Trends to Watch in 2019 After ringing in the new year, it’s time to look forward to what 2019 will bring. This week we’re sharing news and resources that examine trends to watch out for this year, such as drivers of digital transformation in the next 12 months, an upcoming webinar that tackles such questions as what to expect from the new congress, as well as a look back to see how well we did with our predictions last year. Digital Healthcare Growth Drivers In 2019 The …

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Health Care Outlook For 2019

Attend the webinar to learn more across these areas:

  • The business of healthcare including new market entrants, business models and shifting strategies to stay competitive.
  • Continuous quality and cost control monitoring across populations.
  • CMS proposals to push ACOs into two-sided risk models.
  • Historic changes to Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).
  • Fewer process measures but more quality outcomes scrutiny for providers.
  • Increased consumer demand for more transparency.
There are many challenges and opportunities for all of us in healthcare. Join Bobbi and Stephen as they draw upon their decades of experience to make sense of the past year and look ahead to give you guidance for the new year. This is the fourth year running that Bobbi has presented her predictions at the turn of the new year and past attendees will remember that her knack for predicting is uncanny and her stories are unforgettable. This time will be no different.

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Social Determinants of Health: Tools to Leverage Today’s Data Imperative

Social determinants of health (SDOH) data captures impacts on patient health beyond the healthcare delivery system. Traditional health data (e.g., from healthcare encounters) only tells a portion of the patient and population health story. To understand the full spectrum of health impacts (e.g., from environment to relationship and employment status), organizations need data from their patient’s daily lives. The urgency for SDOH data is particularly strong today, as value-based payment increasingly presses health systems to raise quality and lower cost. Without fuller insight into patient health (what happens beyond healthcare encounters) organizations can’t align with community services to help patients meet needs of daily living—prerequisites for maintaining good health. Standardizing SDOH data into healthcare workflows, however, requires an informed strategy. Health systems will benefit by following a standardization protocol that includes relevant and comprehensive domains, engages patients, enables broader understanding of patient health, integrates with organizational EHRs, and is easy for clinicians to follow.

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Improving Quality Measures Can Lead to Better Outcomes

Current quality measures are expensive and time consuming to report, and they don’t necessarily improve care. Many health systems are looking for better ways to measure the quality of their care, and they are using data analytics to achieve this goal. Data analytics can be helpful with quality improvement. There are four key considerations to evaluate quality measures:

  1. Organizations must develop measures that are more clinically relevant and better represent the care provided.
  2. Clinician buy-in is critical. Without it, quality improvement initiatives are less likely to succeed.
  3. Investment in tools and effort surrounding improvement work must increase. Tools should include data analytics.
  4. Measure improvement must translate to improvement in the care being measured.
When the right measures are in place to drive healthcare improvement, patient care and outcomes can and do improve.

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Healthcare Project Management Techniques: A Pragmatic Approach to Outcomes Improvement

Project management skills and good project managers are increasingly important to the healthcare industry because they can help control costs, manage risk, and speed improvement project outcomes. By applying project management techniques, from waterfall to agile methodologies, organizations can plan, organize, and execute a set of tasks efficiently in order to maximize resources and achieve specific goals. This article explores project management techniques and offers considerations for healthcare leaders when adapting these techniques for clinical, financial, and operational process improvement. The author also shares a pragmatic application and practical tips for implementing these project management techniques in a healthcare environment.

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Serious Illness Conversation Helps Patients Choose What Matters

The U.S. faces an aging population, and more people are living longer with chronic illness. It can be challenging for patients with serious, life-threatening illnesses to make choices about the treatment they would prefer. Often, these important discussions happen too late, and occur when patients are already in crisis or when they are unable to speak for themselves. Technology-heavy end-of-life care is associated with poorer quality of life and decreased patient satisfaction, as well as anxiety and depression for family members. Partners HealthCare, a not-for-profit health care system, recognized that less than one-third of patients with an advanced, serious illness discussed their goals and preferences with their clinicians, and that when the conversations did occur, they often took place late in the course of illness when there was little time to translate them into meaningful actions. In general, clinicians did not feel well prepared to have conversations with seriously ill patients about their goals and wishes. The organization committed to supporting patients with serious illnesses, and their families, by providing the opportunity to discuss their treatment preferences early in the course of illness, increasing the likelihood that the patient would receive the care they wanted to receive. By implementing a Serious Illness Conversation Guide, and better preparing clinicians to have serious conversations with patients, Partners achieved:

  • 53 percent of patients with clinicians who used the Serious Illness Conversation Guide used hospice in the last six months of life.
  • $15,588 savings in total medical expense in the last six months of life.

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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:

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

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Weekly News Roundup: December 21, 2018

  With the holiday season suddenly upon us, we wanted to share some of the biggest news stories from 2018. Amazon made headlines as it leapt further into the world of healthcare, healthcare became more precise, and payers made the news with mergers, acquisitions, and other shenanigans. We also share the six biggest problems with homegrown healthcare analytics platforms and a recent ONC report that examines the many different forms of exchanging healthcare data that hospitals are wrestling with. Five Ways Healthcare Became More Precise in 2018 From …

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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:

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

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A Better End of Life Experience: Enhancing Patient Care and Reducing Costs

Despite well-documented benefits, palliative care remains underutilized, with many Americans passing away in hospitals or nursing homes without care that is aligned with their treatment preference. Many health systems also group patients with an advanced chronic illness into one of two groups—traditional clinic-based care or hospice. Hospice remains underutilized for patients with long-term, complex illnesses who may not yet be eligible to enroll in hospice, or for patients who are not ready for hospice, despite qualifying. Partners HealthCare recognized that patients in this hospice “grey area” often suffer from gaps in care. To address the unique needs faced by this patient population, the Partners system sought to better support its patients and their families with end of life care planning, through support from its population health department. By utilizing data from its analytics platform, along with a risk predictive modeling solution, Partners was able to identify patients with advanced, complex illnesses who may not yet be eligible to enroll in hospice but who would benefit from the home-based palliative care program. Program results include:

  • $8,106 savings in total medical expenses in the last six months of life.
  • 67 percent of home-based palliative care program patients received hospice care at the end of life, compared to 40 percent of patients that did not receive this option.
  • Overall, patients who received home-based palliative care had savings associated with decreases in expense rather than utilization.

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Analysts Surf the Tsunami of Healthcare Data

Good surfers are the consummate analysts. They dynamically process streams of seemingly unrelated information bypassing lesser opportunities, then strategically select the perfect wave. The ability to tease out genuine opportunities amidst a tumult of noise is a hallmark of great analysts. By attending this webinar you will learn:

  • The human elements of a great analyst.
  • How to re-frame the role of technology in analysis.
  • Healthcare knowledge required to maximize the value of a healthcare analyst.
John's engaging presentation style leverages simple and fun analogies to galvanize key concepts for technical, clinical, and executive audiences alike. Join us as he brings principles from the world of surfing and applies them to healthcare analytics.

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The Six Biggest Problems With Homegrown Healthcare Analytics Platforms

Most healthcare systems have been building, improving, and maintaining proprietary healthcare analytics platforms since the early 2000s and have invested heavily in the people and resources required to do so. As the demands of today’s healthcare environment continue to increase, it’s becoming more difficult for analytic teams to keep up. This article deals with the six biggest problems to maintaining a homegrown healthcare analytic platform today:

  1. Inability to keep pace with analytic demands.
  2. Difficult to support and scale for the future.
  3. Difficulty finding and keeping talent.
  4. Use of point solutions to fill gaps.
  5. Analytic teams must also support third-party vendors and affiliated groups.
  6. Difficulty keeping abreast of rapidly changing regulatory requirements.

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The Six Biggest Problems With Homegrown Healthcare Analytics Platforms (Executive Reports)

Most healthcare systems have been building, improving, and maintaining proprietary healthcare analytics platforms since the early 2000s and have invested heavily in the people and resources required to do so. As the demands of today’s healthcare environment continue to increase, it’s becoming more difficult for analytic teams to keep up. This article deals with the six biggest problems to maintaining a homegrown healthcare analytic platform today:

  1. Inability to keep pace with analytic demands.
  2. Difficult to support and scale for the future.
  3. Difficulty finding and keeping talent.
  4. Use of point solutions to fill gaps.
  5. Analytic teams must also support third-party vendors and affiliated groups.
  6. Difficulty keeping abreast of rapidly changing regulatory requirements.

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Integrated Care for High-Risk Patients: Keeping Patients Healthy and Costs Down for Over Ten Years

People with chronic and mental health conditions account for 86 percent of the $2.7 trillion in healthcare expenditures made in the U.S. each year. Patients with multiple chronic conditions cost up to seven times more than those with one. In total, five percent of patients account for half of all healthcare spending. Managing costs for these high-risk patients are not easy. Patient needs are largely influenced by a variety of medical, social, and economic circumstances. Combined with chronic illnesses, these circumstances add up to substantial challenges for patients and their families, as well as care teams. In an effort to expand its care management program to include patients with multiple chronic conditions and complex social and economic factors, Partners HealthCare, a non-profit healthcare network in Boston, utilized data and analytics to identify patients at high-risk in order to improve outcomes and reduce costs. Overall, integrated care management program (iCMP) Medicare results include:

  • $125 per member per month savings upon enrollment into the iCMP compared to patients not enrolled.
  • Similar to cost findings, the relative risk of any emergency department (ED) visits, non-emergent ED visits, and hospitalizations decreased as length of program enrollment increased, specifically for Medicare patients. In months 24+ in the program, the relative risks of all three types of utilization were lower than 0.60.

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Weekly News Roundup: December 13, 2018

Healthcare Data and Platforms in the News Healthcare data comes from many different types of sources. Could smart speakers be a new healthcare data source? Could the new iPad Pro help streamine both clinical and administrative workflows? This week, our news roundup includes some of the biggest stories about healthcare data-some of which may soon come from unlikely sources. We also share lessons from the last 20 years of enterprise data warehousing, a conversation with Dale Sanders, president of technology at Health Catalyst, about commercial vs. homegrown healthcare data platforms, …

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