Are You Ready for Smart Data?
Today, health providers cannot afford to have their access to mission-critical data trapped behind outdated information management protocols. To see inter-relationships, often between different functions such as market, clinical, operational and financial, data is critical in order to discover and understand underlying causes and implications of problems or opportunities.
A growing number of health providers recognize this truth but are challenged by how to best to make it happen. I continue to see confusion around how to make health data a more integral part of value-based or population health.
Today’s health environment requires health providers to move beyond traditional silos of data to a more comprehensive assortment of health metrics which are targeted at three critical data categories: market position, hospital effectiveness and hospital efficiency.
- Market Position – Every hospital and health system makes it a top priority to know where they are positioned in the market relative to their competitors. While providers may think that market position may be less meaningful in a value driven model, think again. Providers must continue to create strategy and marketing plans to monitor and improve their market position. If you are not doing this, then your competitors are and you will likely get an unpleasant surprise soon.
- Hospital Effectiveness – Simply saying you are a quality driven organization is no longer a strategy but really a potential fatal mistake. In today’s population health marketplace, organizations must have the information available to prove they can deliver on quality. If you can’t measure quality, then you can’t manage it.
- Hospital Efficiency – It’s not enough to merely provide great health services in a proven quality manner; hospitals must be efficient at providing this level of service. As healthcare transitions from a low risk, fee for service model to a high risk model, the hospital must monitor and measure exactly how efficient it is at providing the health services required to manage a value-based or capitated arrangement.
To perform well, a health provider must have access to advanced health data analytics. This is the backbone of moving patient data from collected information to what I call “Smart Data” that impacts the successful delivery of health services in the new population health paradigm.
Smart data will revolutionize the way we do marketing, make business decisions, and interact with customers. But what is smart data?
Typically, the most relevant messages in data are represented in the patterns and pattern violations: trends, gaps and outliers. Smart data are the mission-critical messages derived through health data analytics that inform our decision making.
Smart data technology must be designed so that we can make data both useful and digestible. Big data is often captured without a specific purpose in mind, so most of it will be irrelevant to the problem you want to solve. Efficient search and filtering technology is necessary in smart data to make identifying the relevant data easy, because data that is not relevant can’t possibly be useful. More importantly, the analytics we use must find insight that is actionable – if you can’t take action against it, it’s not useful.
Human intelligence is contextual-based ” our understanding of the world depends on our ability to recognize the associations, relationships and interdependencies of different data. Which means that the greater the variety and volume of data sources, the richer and more intelligent the story. This is why health providers must examine how they perform in each category: market position, hospital effectiveness and hospital efficiency.
Forward-looking organizations recognize the historical nature of these changes, understand that great volumes of business intelligence are hidden within all those exabytes of data, and are eager to incorporate that intelligence into their own organizational IQ. They want to be the smartest kids on the block and they see health data solutions that span the enterprise delivery model as the means of getting there.