In our April 2015 Intelligence Report, healthcare leaders cited clinical and business data integration, EHR interoperability, and data accuracy as their top data-related analytics challenges over the next three years. HealthLeaders Media Council members discuss ways to improve analytics performance.
This article first appeared in the October 2015 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
Linda Butler, MD
Vice President of Medical Affairs
and Chief Medical Officer
Rex Healthcare, Raleigh, NC
In our organization, we've seen many IT system changes over the past 18 months. We changed our materials management system to conform to other providers in the Triangle area, and we also switched both our revenue cycle and clinical EMRs to Epic.
One of our primary goals had been to have everything on one system in hopes that we would be able to run better reports and gain analytic insight in to costs and quality, but we found that this undertaking wasn't quite as easy as just making that transition. We've since realized that we needed a dedicated analytics team to properly extract the data, and then to figure out how to interpret it. Frankly, we're still on that journey.
There's a real challenge around data accuracy. When you're running a report, you need to put the right parameters in to get data that is meaningful. If you don't have the information entered correctly, then everything downstream will also be incorrect. We've found that when workers were inputting certain data fields, it was easy for them to make a mistake. Sometimes, they didn't understand the consequence of that mistake—the incorrect data feeds into other screens, into orders, and creates other data accuracy problems as well.
Lena J. Weiner is an associate editor at HealthLeaders Media.