from John-Michael SmithHead of Health and Life Sciences Analytics – Data Integration, Qlik
Hospitals generate vast amounts of data on a daily basis that can be translated into practical insights that can improve operations, save costs and generally lead to better outcomes for patients. However, if the data is closed or placed in different conflicting formats, it may be out of date, incorrect or of no value once it has been accessed by the user.
As of March 2020, these insights are more important than ever as hospitals deal with volatile patient numbers, staffing and resource demand as the virus fluctuates and evolves.
There are several types of data that hospitals need to monitor, two of the most important being patient health data and claims data. In the current hospital climate, hospitals need to prioritize a more proactive approach and use data for real-time data operations. Real-time data gives users a 360-degree view of what they’re tracking, combining historical data with current data, which facilitates a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of the dataset and encourages more decision-making supported by data.
For example, one of the largest Catholic health systems in the United States approached my team for help integrating and merging data from the organization’s various health platforms. Working in six different Epic environments and two Cerner environments, the organization was able to move all data from the software into a single data lake. This integration has given management a holistic view of the organization’s real-time and historical data, allowing you to make smart, data-based decisions about patient and community care faster.
Naturally, both healthcare providers and the administration and patients can benefit from the use of data analysis. Below I share three of the most positive impacts that real-time operational data can bring to your healthcare system.
More intelligent staff
In the near future research, more than a third of nurses said they plan to leave their current jobs by the end of 2022, with most citing burnout and a high-stress work environment as the main reason for leaving their jobs. Fortunately, real-time operations data can allow management to make smarter staff selections – such as activating more nurses only when needed – and as a result, do more with less. Gaining this visibility as to whether the department has the right staff (no shortage or surplus) in real time can lead to huge cost-saving benefits. This can indirectly help to improve staff workload, job satisfaction, reduce turnover and prevent burnout.
When it comes to optimizing the work process in the hospital, each phase can affect the likelihood of achieving favorable and timely results for patients. However, the very nature of the work process in the hospital is that it is moving fast and sometimes decisions just have to be made right now. The COVID-19 pandemic added extra strain in the form of additional precautions and emergency departments that deal with a huge number of patients. While teams simply can’t get bogged down in reviewing and analyzing the workflow on a case-by-case basis, they can look at data metrics (such as patient flow per hour, length of stay and time to RVU) to determine where things aren’t. work and make changes quickly.
Reduction and redistribution of funds
Hospitals are facing increasing pressure on their financial departments, especially as fluctuations in COVID-19 demand affect various variables. According to data from February 2022 report, hospitals in the United States have seen a significant increase in costs since the beginning of the pandemic, with total corrected discharge costs increasing by 43.5 percent since January 2020. Labor costs outside and beyond have also increased by 57 and 35, respectively, 5 percent. Robust real-time data can help organizations successfully identify and anticipate areas that are on or out of need for additional resources. Defining these indicators accurately can clarify where new revenue streams should be allocated and where redundancies should be made in others.
Now more than ever, hospitals need to gather the power of data analysis to find new ways to reduce costs and optimize payments while delivering better results for patients. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to linger and grow periodically, health systems need to capture a truly holistic view of their operations that is only possible through the power of real-time operational data.
3 Potential Impacts Real-Time Operational Data Can Bring to Your Healthcare System