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Knowledge Center

Build Versus Buy a Healthcare Enterprise Data Warehouse: How IT Leaders Choose the Best Option for Their Organizations

The public cloud has made IT infrastructure increasingly accessible, influencing some healthcare CIOs and CTOs to try to build an enterprise data warehouse (EDW) in-house versus purchasing a commercial solution. However, a spring 2020 survey indicates that the vast majority of healthcare data platform users purchase their EDWs, citing superior quality, functionality, and security. Meanwhile, homegrown EDW users report high satisfaction with their systems despite common roadblocks including insufficient IT personnel. A deeper dive into survey findings shows which type of organization may be best suited to building or buying an EDW.

Using COVID-19 Value Sets for Patient Identification

The U.S. healthcare system was not prepared for a health crisis of the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Hospitals are working to facilitate widespread distribution of information within their organization and to local, state, and federal authorities to successfully manage this novel infection. EHRs and Lab Information Systems (LISs) have become public health tools for disease surveillance and management. Due to signification variation in EHR data, informatics tools are needed to define patients with suspected SARS-Cov2 Infection and confirmed COVID-19 infection. With the aim of building an extensible model for a COVID-19 database, Health Catalyst has built a detailed approach that leverages a heuristic methodology for capturing both confirmed and suspected cases. Health Catalyst has proposed value sets that define two patient cohorts for the registry for confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients, stratified further into three levels of confidence: high confidence suspected, moderate confidence suspected, and low confidence suspected.

Hospital Capacity Management: How to Prepare for COVID-19 Patient Surges

Health system resource strain became an urgent concern early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Hard-hit areas exhausted their hospital beds, ventilators, personal protective equipment, staffing, and other life-saving essentials, while other regions scrambled to prepare for inevitable surges. These resource concerns heightened the need for accurate, localized hospital capacity planning. With additional waves of infection in the summer months following the initial spring 2020 crisis, health systems must continue to forecast resource demands for the foreseeable future. An accurate capacity planning tool uses population demographics, governmental policies, local culture, and the physical environment to predict healthcare resource needs and help health systems prepare for surges in patient demand.

Weekly News Roundup: August 7, 2020

The intensity and duration of caring for critically ill patients during the pandemic has presented many unique challenges for hospitals. In this week's news roundup: how hospitals can meet the needs of non-COVID patients; how to prepare for patient surges; why the COVID-19 hospital data system is plagued by delays and inaccuracies; and the mounting shortages of healthcare workers in cities across the country.

Weekly News Roundup: July 31, 2020

In this week's news roundup, we're taking a look at regulatory news and updates that affect the healthcare industry, including what health systems need to know about COVID-19 relief funding; tax relief major provider groups are asking from Congress; why cash flow could be a looming problem for hospitals; and how cross-state nurse licensing could improve care during COVID-19.

Steps for Effective Patient and Staff Contact Tracing to Defend Against COVID-19 Spread

While the world waits for a vaccine or effective treatment for COVID-19, managing disease spread is paramount. For health systems, patient and staff contact tracing is one of the top transmission-control strategies. Because the virus appears to spread mainly through respiratory droplets from person-to-person contact, knowing where infected individuals have been and with whom they’ve been in contact is an essential capability. With this insight, organizations can manage transmission with data-driven emergency planning and monitoring capabilities. The resulting appropriate and timely workflow modifications will serve disease control efforts during the 2020 pandemic and help health systems prepare for future outbreaks.

A More Accurate Sepsis Identification Method: Leveraging Physiological Data

The traditional sepsis identification method—based on a combination of physician notes, coding, and billing—is often varied and too subjective, leading to inaccurate data. Because margins are tight and health systems can’t afford to waste any resources, clinical teams need to start with the most effective sepsis identification method. Using physiological data, such as vital signs, to identify sepsis is proving to be highly effective. With the physiological data approach, providers rely on the body’s response—rather than being steered by biases, anecdotal information, or reimbursement rates—to more accurately identify patients with sepsis. With a more effective approach to sepsis identification, providers can implement interventions sooner, leading to better outcomes.

HAS 20 Virtual: Featuring a World-Class Lineup of Keynote Speakers

The Healthcare Analytics Summit (HAS®) is going virtual this year but will still feature the same world-class experience you expect from HAS–including world-class keynote speakers. HAS 20 Virtual will showcase well-known visionaries and C-level executives from leading healthcare organizations. The summit will feature speakers who’ve battled COVID-19 in the trenches as well as other speakers adjusting to planning for the “new normal” that we all anticipate. We’re reimagining HAS 20 in a virtual format that will be unlike any other healthcare conference you may have attended, virtual or otherwise. HAS 20 Virtual takes place September 1-3, 2020 and will feature nationally recognized keynote speakers, educational breakout sessions, and much more.

Achieve Data-Informed Healthcare in Eight Steps

Becoming a data-informed healthcare system starts with raw data and ends with meaningful change, driven by raw data. Health systems can follow an eight-step analytics ascension model to transform data into intelligence:

  1. Population Identification and Stratification
  2. Measurement
  3. Data
  4. Information
  5. Knowledge
  6. Insight
  7. Wisdom
  8. Action
Following the analytics ascension model allows improvement teams to avoid feeling overwhelmed, focus on each step, and see how each step fits into the overall objective, allowing health systems to maximize data.

Interoperability in Healthcare: Making the Most of FHIR

With the CMS and ONC March 2020 endorsement of HL7 FHIR R4, FHIR is positioned to grow from a niche application programming interface (API) standard to a common API framework. With broader adoption, FHIR promises to support expanding healthcare interoperability and prepare the industry for complex use cases by addressing significant challenges:

  1. Engaging consumers.
  2. Sharing data with modern standards.
  3. Building a solid foundation for healthcare interoperability.

Employee Engagement During COVID-19: Using Culture to Manage Stress, Maintain Productivity

As organizations confront a post-COVID-19 world, leaders must balance pandemic-driven practices and environments with team member eagerness to and uncertainty towards returning to business as usual. Even though ongoing fear and stress are inevitable, leaders and managers can use a positive workplace culture to support employees, engage their teams, and foster productivity. Safe, reliable access to health and wellness, remote mental health resources, and consistent communications will help organizations establish and maintain a positive culture that remains a steadfast source of support as the healthcare industry navigates the next phases of COVID-19.

Improving Patient Safety: Lessons from a Military Operations Framework

The operational military concept known as “left of bang” endorses continuous situational awareness to avoid harm proactively—before it occurs. Healthcare, however, operates reactively in response to patient harm, often intervening once a patient safety event has occurred, versus using practices and tools to recognize and respond to threats. Applied to patient safety, a left-of-bang approach teaches frontline clinicians to increase sensitivity to and stay in constant vigilance for threats before they happen, moving down a scale of situational awareness levels:

  1. White: Tending to the tasks at hand but largely unprepared for disruption and unaware of the conditions around them.
  2. Yellow: Constantly understanding the safety vulnerabilities of day-to-day healthcare.
  3. Orange: Ready to use the needed skills and tools to react to an event.
  4. Red: Taking action and laser focused on the issue at hand.

HAS 20 Virtual: Reimagining the Healthcare Conference

The future of healthcare is here, with its focus on data sharing, technological pushes forward, and virtual work wherever possible. We are excited to embrace the adventure and challenge of these changes by reimagining the Healthcare Analytics Summit (HAS) 2020 as a virtual format that will be unlike any other healthcare conference you may have attended, virtual or otherwise. HAS 20 Virtual takes place September 1-3, 2020 and will feature nationally recognized keynote speakers, educational breakout sessions, and many of the unique touches you’ve come to expect from HAS.

Introducing the Care Management Suite: A Data-Driven, Transparent Solution

COVID-19 has highlighted the healthcare imperative of effective care management—in particular, the ability for health systems to rapidly adapt their care management approach based on ever-changing healthcare terrain. Typical care management programs lack transparency, comprehensive data, and flexibility. This makes it difficult for care teams to easily change their care management programs based on patient population needs and opportunities. To meet these challenges, the Health Catalyst Care Management Suite leverages a transparent, data-driven strategy with expertise to help health systems maximize care management ROI.

The Medicare Shared Savings Program: Four Tools for Better Profit Margins and High-Quality Care

Medicare patients make up the majority of health systems’ revenue; yet, organizations earn only a one percent profit while caring for this population. Despite historically low profit margins, Medicare can be lucrative for health systems, and through the Medicare Shared Savings Program, healthcare organizations can increase revenue with four tools:

  1. The ability to aggregate and analyze data.
  2. The ability to align financial incentives between payers and providers.
  3. The ability to engage patients in behavior or lifestyle modifications.
  4. The ability to garner support from clinicians and encourage them to lead the shift to VBC.
As the shift from fee-for-service to value-based care continues, health systems can leverage MSSP to deliver the highest level of care while also increasing profit margins.

Weekly News Roundup: June 26, 2020

In this week's news roundup, we're taking a look at regulatory news and updates that affect the healthcare industry, including what health systems need to know about COVID-19 relief funding; tax relief major provider groups are asking from Congress; why cash flow could be a looming problem for hospitals; and how cross-state nurse licensing could improve care during COVID-19.