Health care organizations can leverage clinical and financial data in order to improve the quality of care provided to patients. Several clinical quality measures emerge when organizations combine and analyze both clinical and financial data. When this data is combined, health care organization leaders can clearly see which programs and services have opportunities for improvement. The analysis process involves inputting data into software applications that can reveal which programs and services are using the majority of the organization’s resources. This includes financial resources, as well as more qualitative resources such as human talent and labor.
The analytical process that software applications streamline aims to help organizations save money, improve the quality of health care, and increase the organization’s investment returns. The process of improving healthcare quality is dependent on establishing a means by which all of the data across the organization is collected and stored. Sometimes referred to as a data warehouse or database, the data originates from finance, administration, human resources, patient satisfaction surveys, emergency management and patient care records. All of this data is funneled into a database application that begins to reveal connections and patterns between variables. The way management can begin to make decisions about what programs and services they need to focus on comes from the idea of identifying which of those programs consume the most resources.
Often, during the analysis process, organizations can identify a small percentage of programs and services that are consuming the majority of the firm’s resources. Typically, twenty percent of those programs and services take up eighty percent of the organization’s resources. Leaders can arrange the programs and services into three tiers. Those tiers include clinical programs, clinical families and clinical work processes. The programs represent an entire department, such as oncology or pediatrics. The clinical families represent a specialty within a department, and the work processes represent a specific level of care within each specialty.
Overall, the use of electronic sources of data and analytics can help identify areas that health care organizations can improve. The process helps save money and ensure that patients are receiving the best care possible. Discrepancies can occur if data is missing or compromised, so additional quality and accuracy checks are necessary. It is also important to incorporate qualitative feedback from the organization’s team of health care professionals, and not just rely solely on the data presented by the software application.