As we come to the end of January 2015, it might be good to take a look at healthcare practice goals. Healthcare practice goals should be considered carefully and with a calculator. Most goals for a practice should fall under one of two categories, cost cutting and revenue enhancing.
One of the practice goals should include data; data collection, data management, and data analysis. Knowing what’s included in data collection and what’s not is an important step in understanding and trusting the data. If you can’t trust the data you can’t trust the analysis.
Many practices using EHRs do not clearly understand the process of data collection and analysis. That is not a jab at their efforts, but simply a statement of fact. Training and experience in data collection and analysis is a critical part of understanding the data. Numbers are just numbers until someone puts them in context and defines them. To do that, takes more than a query tool.
Finding skill, expertise and most importantly trust of assumptions made by data analysis is an important goal for 2015. It will lead many practices to cost cutting ideas and revenue enhancing concepts. These ideas and concepts can then be put to the test of the reality of the practice.
Both large and small practices can benefit from data analysis as long as the right eyes are managing the data, the right brains are thinking about the data collected, and the right conclusions are achieved. Having expert eyes look at data from several perspectives and understanding the collection of data process (which helps in defining the boundaries of the data) can be a crucial step in the process.
Google has become the defining expert in data management and algorithm expertise. They are not experts at marketing, or social media. They are experts at data collection, management and analysis. They accurately identify trends that define what products will most likely be sold to what consumers. They are genius at it.
Can your practice afford not to have expertise taking a look at your data processes and data?