Hospitals everywhere are driving to a new era of Data. Some are jumping in head first to the bleeding edge technologies that promise to deliver value and others are waiting until it’s been proven before even putting their toe in the water. There is not a magic formula to healthcare data and analytics yet, but there are emerging best practices that should lead us all to more effective uses of data in our hospital environments.
Saint Luke’s is a 10 campus 1303 bed Health System in the Kansas City area. They are near and dear to my heart since I have delivered at their beautiful East campus. They are well known in the area for being high touch and high quality. I have had the pleasure of working with several of their leaders on projects and knowing others in the community.
Debe Gash has been the CIO of the health system since 2006 and has lead the organization to be well respected and win awards such as Most Wired, and recently lead them through the selection process of a new EMR. Debe has been on an Analytics journey for the past 18 months as the health system identifies and defines analytics goals and usage for their facilities.
“Health reform has driven an emphasis to analytics. Health Systems must perform as efficiently as possible while delivering positive outcomes. The only way to do this effectively is by using analytics” said Gash
1) Get an education
Gash started her journey by seeking out wisdom of those who have been down the road before her. Her memberships at CHIME and the Health Data Warehouse Association have been invaluable resources for her to gain wisdom from her peers.
“The Health Data Warehouse Association provides webinars to its membership where my peers are presenting…not vendors” said Gash.
In a good peer group you can get the good, the bad, and the ugly without any bias or spin based on the vendors needs to sell to survive. While vendors have provided insight into the process they should not define how or what you are doing.
2) Create a Data Governance Strategy Board
The phrase “death by committee” is a fear for many CIO’s with a vision. Saint Luke’s determined not only that there needed to be a committee who was well informed, autonomous, and had authority but they also needed to create a new role (FTE) for the organization to manage it all.
“We put in place a Director of Data Governance who works with committees to define, prioritize, execute, and evaluate our Data Governanceneeds“ said Gash
The team is comprised of key stakeholders who were committed to identifying things that could be improved by applying data.
3) Create a Data Governance Strategy
Data Governance covers a whole range of topics within the overlying umbrella that is analytics. It is the rules and goals for the organization which allows identification, prioritization, application, and evaluation of the information.
The Data GovernanceBoard is responsible to define and maintain the following pillars of data management:· Collection
“People struggle with what should I look at and what do I need to do with it and why is it important? Our Data Governance defines all of those things for our hospitals so we can align system wide goals with system wide information.”
While the health system does use committees for subject matter expertise the core responsibility for data governance falls on theBoard and Director and they are accountable for compliance with the set standards.
4) Select vendors only AFTER you have defined a process, and require compliance with your data governance.
Data and Analytics are the buzz words on every vendor’s lips. Vendors believe to sell their product they must have a “dashboard” or information display. The challenge is with multiple dashboard, and proprietary methods it is challenging to drive end user usage compliance. Saint Luke’s determined that vendors will be evaluated by their ability to conform to hospitals defined governances for data collection.
“Big Data is how you manage the data not the “what” it’s the architecture behind it.”
A common faux-paux of health systems is allowing vendors or groups within the hospital to define their own path for data evaluation. The hospital must create a single source of truth for all data, then a consistent metric for real effectiveness.
5) Drive Compliance & Usage by creating organization goals for outcomes and operational efficiencies
The only way to drive behavior change and consistent usage is to attach economics that mean something to the individual or team.
“Our health system’s ROI is not determined by how much data is collected, or how great your dashboard is – it’s defined with what you do with the information and how you are able to impact patient care by increasing efficiency and improving outcomes.”
Through engaged leadership Saint Luke’s is working to drive meaningful change in their organization to improve patient care. Debe’s leadership has created focused culture of accountability using real data to make informed decisions. We will keep tabs on Saint Luke’s progress throughout their EMR implementation and launch of its analytic dashboards.