You’ve implemented technology and software to help you collect better data. Now what? How can you use that data effectively? When appropriately used, healthcare data analytics can have a direct impact on improving your patient care.
What is big data?
Simply put, big data refers to the vast amount of information you’re collecting by going digital. Everything from the electronic medical record to your scheduling system to your patient communication tools creates a large quantity of data. When you know how to leverage big data, you can start to remove operational inefficiencies, reduce costs, and improve patient care.
Track movement patterns
How efficiently are your patients moving throughout your facility? One way you can leverage data from your OR schedule is by evaluating how long patients spend in each part of your facility. Are there gaps in your process where patients are waiting too long? How can you improve these inefficiencies? Getting patients through your ASC in the most efficient manner possible means that you can see more patients per week, per month, and per year.
Implement strategic staffing
An understaffed ASC leads to high levels of employee burnout and turnover. On the flip side, over-staffing can add up to unnecessary labor costs. Consider what you can learn from the data obtained from your scheduling software. What shifts will require more hands on deck and which are slower? Do you notice trends in scheduling? Also assess if there are any gaps in your processes where patients are experiencing bottlenecks. This could point to a need for more support in certain areas.
Prevent unnecessary care
Moving to digital charting can provide essential data to help prevent episodes of unnecessary care. Standardized templates and pre-filled information can save your nursing staff significant time and allow them to record higher levels of detail in patient charting. This detailed information can help cut costs by preventing unnecessary care. You can also use this information to identify patterns in your population that may be affecting outcomes.
Enhance communication strategies
You can send patients text messages and emails all day—but are your methods effective? Take a look at your open rates. Are they higher at a specific time of day? Do certain types of messages get more clicks? What about the impact of your subject lines? Evaluating these metrics can significantly enhance your patient communication strategy. And we are all aware that better patient communication has a direct effect on cancellation rates, patient outcomes, and satisfaction scores.
Lastly: safety is key
With everything going online, today’s healthcare industry needs to be more vigilant than ever about patient privacy and security. As you look to use more data to drive decisions, ensure that your software solutions are validated, HIPAA-compliant technologies. Know what questions you can expect from patients and be prepared to help them understand how going digital adds up to better data and, ultimately, better care.
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