Change is something you cannot avoid forever. Especially in healthcare. In today’s healthcare scene, there are many changes coming down the pipe. From Meaningful Use to ICD-10, to the age of social media, the changes are all around us, staring us in the face at times. Change does not only come from the government mandates. Healthcare data collection is one of the many tools used to determine functionality and effectiveness. Not sure what we mean by that? Let’s take a look at McDonald’s. Everyone knows who and what McDonald’s is and stands for here in the US.
McDonald’s is changing their menu items (Taking some poor sellers off the menu and paring down the choices) and expanding their market abroad. How did they come to these conclusions? Simply stated, data analysis is the answer. The data showed them that the international market held 40% of the business and more attention needed to be spent expanding that growing market. So McDonald’s has announced a new effort to manage and grow the international market. They have responded to the data.
There are some pretty important steps to data analysis that whether you are McDonald’s or a healthcare practice you need to pay attention to.
- Figuring out what data elements to capture, where to store the date (think of a very big warehouse) and how often to query the data are all decisions needing to be made
- If you don’t ask the right questions, you’ll never get the right answers. Here needs to be a way of authenticating the data. Otherwise you will make some real blunders in assumptions. (take it from someone who knows)
- Spend time with the data – analyst lives with the data…..knows the data, looks at it from a number of different directions to make sure they know and understand what the data id telling them. Sometime more complex than others. If you want to know how many patients live in a specific zip code, a pretty easy query. If you want to know what treatment has had the best effect on hypertensive patients, that’s a little rocket science.
Healthcare data collection, manipulation and analysis has been around for years. The difference now is the data has evolved into the single most important driver of your business or any business for that matter.
Let me repeat that. Healthcare data collection has become the single most important driver of your business. If you don’t get that, then you need to talk to someone who does and develop a plan to incorporate healthcare data collection and analysis into your daily weekly and monthly routines.