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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:

  1. Whom do we serve?
  2. What services do we provide?
  3. How do we know we are doing a great job?
  4. How do we provide the services?
  5. How do we organize?

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Three Data-Informed Ways to Drive Optimal Pediatric Care

Pediatric care has unique challenges, such as communicating with young patients through a parent or guardian and assessing pain levels with children. To overcome these challenges, organizations can rely on operational data to target pediatric improvement areas that lead to lower costs and higher profit margins. Leveraging operational data—instead of focusing solely on pediatric outcomes data—can reveal opportunities for health systems to improve pediatric patient access and, in turn, increase revenue. Organizations can deliver higher quality pediatric care while increasing profits by implementing three data-informed strategies:

  1. Maximize space utilization.
  2. Improve patient scheduling.
  3. Implement virtual care.

Three Analytics Strategies to Drive Patient-Centered Care

The cost of uncoordinated care that fails to prioritize patient needs is estimated to be over $27.2 billion. One of the primary reasons behind these wasted healthcare dollars is a failure to effectively leverage data to understand patient needs—a must-have to deliver patient-centered, value-based care (VBC). Three analytics strategies enable health systems to focus on patients while also meeting the financial standards for VBC delivery:

  1. Prioritize patient outreach by risk level.
  2. Deploy data tools to combat COVID-19.
  3. Promote data literacy.
Detailed information from comprehensive data sets allows health systems to understand patient needs at a granular level and then use that insight to drive care decisions. More informed care ensures health systems are also meeting the core elements of VBC—managing costs, delivering quality, and ensuring an excellent patient experience.

To Safely Restart Elective Procedures, Look to the Data

Many health systems have realized they lack the data and analytics infrastructure to guide a sustainable reactivation plan and recover lost revenue from months of halted procedures due to COVID-19. However, with operational, clinical, and financial data, augmented by analytics tools, leaders have the visibility into hospital and resource capacity to guide a safe, sustainable elective surgery restart plan. The first step on the road to recovery for health systems is access to robust analytics to understand the full impact of COVID-19 on clinical, financial, and operational outcomes. Second, organizations need data-sharing tools, like data displays and dashboards, allowing leaders to make decisions based on consistent data that support the organization’s reactivation goals. Leaders can even take the data one step further with predictive models and forecast procedure count, staff, and resources.

Medical Practices’ Survival Depends on Four Analytics Strategies

With limited resources compared to large healthcare organizations and fewer personnel to shoulder burdens like COVID-19, medical practices must find ways to deliver better care with less. Delivering quality care, especially in a pandemic, is challenging, but analytics insight can guide effective care delivery methods, especially for smaller practices. Comprehensive data combined with team members who can turn numbers into real-world information are essential for medical practices to ensure a strong financial, clinical, and operational future. Independent medical practices can rely on four analytics strategies to survive the uncertain healthcare market and plan for a sustainable future:

  1. Prioritize access to up-to-date, comprehensive data sources.
  2. Form a multidisciplinary approach to data governance.
  3. Translate data into analytics insight.
  4. Invest in analytics infrastructure to support rapid response.

Shifting to Virtual Care in the COVID-19 Era: Analytics for Financial Success and an Optimized Patient Experience

The COVID-19 era has seen a decline in visits to ambulatory care practices by 60 percent and an estimated financial loss for primary care of over $15 billion. Shutting down elective care is financially unsustainable for health systems and for patients, who continue to need non-pandemic-related care. While virtual medicine has emerged as a viable and mutually beneficial solution for patients and providers, the shift from in-person to virtual health is logistically and financially complicated. Processes and workflows from in-person care don’t directly translate to the virtual setting, and a financially successful shift requires deep understanding of the factors driving patient engagement and revenue in the new normal. As such, meeting patient needs and financial goals requires robust enterprisewide analytics that drill down to the provider level.

Four Strategies Drive High-Value Healthcare Analytics for COVID-19 Recovery

COVID-19 response and recovery is pushing healthcare to operate at an unprecedented level. To meet these demands and continue to improve outcomes and lower costs, healthcare analytics must perform more actionably and with broader organizational impact than ever. Health systems can follow four strategies to produce high-value analytics to withstand the pandemic and make healthcare better in the long term:

  1. Minimize benchmarking.
  2. Outsource regulatory reporting.
  3. Grow risk-based stratification capabilities.
  4. Run activity-based costing plus at-risk contracting.

Hiring Top Healthcare Analytics Talent: Five Best Practices

COVID-19 has escalated healthcare’s decision-making demands, reinforcing the industry’s need for highly skilled analytics team members. As a result, health systems face mounting pressure to hire the best-suited analytics talent in a timely manner and with minimal burden on existing team members. Five proven inclusive strategies will help hiring managers efficiently build an analytics team that can adapt to healthcare’s shifting environment and also fit within an organization’s culture:

  1. Open positions to remote employees and conduct interviews via video conferencing.
  2. Insert “tollgates” into the hiring process.
  3. Use scenario-based role play to assess many competencies concurrently.
  4. Assess cultural fit.
  5. Follow up with and provide feedback to all candidates.

Six Ways Health Systems Use Analytics to Improve Patient Safety

With preventable patient harm associated with over 400,000 deaths in the U.S. annually, improving safety is a top priority for healthcare organizations. To reduce risks for hospitalized patients, health systems are using patient safety analytics and trigger-based surveillance tools to better understand and recognize the types of harm occurring at their facilities and intervene as early as possible. Six examples of analytics-driven patient safety success cover improvement in the following areas:

  1. Wrong-patient order errors.
  2. Blood management.
  3. Clostridioides difficile (C. diff).
  4. Opioid dependence.
  5. Event reporting.
  6. Sepsis.

The Right Mix: Assembling a Prescription Renewal Protocol Committee

Developing thorough, effective prescription renewal protocols so you can delegate the task to non-providers requires input from multiple people. Be careful when assembling your protocol committee though — enlist too many people and it will be challenging to make progress! What is the right number of contributors, and who should be included to ensure productive, insightful discussions on how to provide the best care for patients requesting prescription renewals?

Ensuring Continuity of Care & Recouping Revenue Post Pandemic

As the world focuses on solving the COVID-19 pandemic, patient care must still continue to the best extent it can. While virtual visits are a great solution to today’s needs and can still be valuable in many instances post-pandemic, there needs to be a plan to transition back to in-person appointments when the time is right — both to regain normalcy for patients and to begin recouping lost revenue for clinics.

The Healthcare Analytics Adoption Model: A Roadmap to Analytic Maturity

The focus on analytics is contributing to the “EHR problem”—doctors prioritizing the EHR over patients. The Healthcare Analytics Adoption Model (HAAM) walks healthcare organizations through nine levels that lay the framework to fully leverage analytic capabilities to improve patient outcomes: Level 1. Enterprise Data Operating System Level 2. Standardized Vocabulary & Patient Registries Level 3. Automated Internal Reporting Level 4. Automated External Reporting Level 5. Waste and Care Variability Reduction Level 6. Population Health Management & Suggestive Analytics Level 7. Clinical Risk Intervention & Predictive Analytics Level 8. Personalized Medicine & Prescriptive Analytics Level 9. Direct-To-Patient Analytics & Artificial Intelligence Analytics are crucial to becoming a data-driven organization, but providers and administrators can’t forget about the why behind the data—to improve outcomes. Following the HAAM enables organizations to build a sustainable, analytic platform and empower patients to become data-driven when it comes to their own care.

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:

  1. Whom do we serve?
  2. What services do we provide?
  3. How do we know we are doing a great job?
  4. How do we provide the services?
  5. How do we organize?

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.

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.

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.

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.