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● Roundup: Analytics


Preventing clinical data exhaust streams


It’s for eff ectiveness and effi ciency, not environmental, motives. Second of two parts


By Rick Dana Barlow


ently wasteful, which is something all past, present and even future healthcare reform initiatives strive to prevent as they concurrently attempt to collect large amounts of business and clinical data for analysis and archiving.


M


What seems like a Catch-22 actually is a noble start to a grand experiment. From a software perspective, you have to invest in technology running needless algorithms to control and direct data traffi c; from


HMT: How can administrators and clinicians know what to do with all of the data they collect?


Todd Rothenhaus, Chief Medical Information Offi cer, athenahealth


Administrators and clinicians need to follow the fi nancial model


in approaching data. How can you control costs? Stem patient out- migration to providers who provide the same services, or at least negotiate commissions on referrals; get control of overutilization to contain leakage of top-line revenue; and invent new ways of treating people (though this is an expensive proposition). Rather than investing in predictive analytics, providers would do better following a waterfall process that looks something like this: • Understand your costs; • Reduce out-migration from your network; • Maximize pay-for-performance reimbursement; • Identify early opportunities for utilization reductions; • Support chronic care and disease management; and • Predict who will develop issues. Getting fi nancial control and implementing more effi cient workfl ow solutions is the top reward for using data.


Anil Jain, M.D., FACP, Senior Vice President & Chief Medical Information Offi cer, Explorys Inc.


T ere are resources for administrators and clinicians who wish to obtain actionable insight from the data that they collect. Not only are there organizations and companies who have created solutions that ana- lyze this data, but the federal government has created quality reporting


14 January 2014 Dan Riskin, M.D., CEO, Health Fidelity y


Administrators and clinicians should look beyond short-term gov- ernment incentives and mandates, and focus on creation of value. Of course, the incentives and mandates are intended to represent a step on that path, but they should not serve as the end goal. Stakeholders should focus on how to improve outcomes and reduce costs. Focus on how the data can be used for population health, predictive analytics and benchmarking to fi nd areas of poor performance that can be bolstered.


anaging so called “Big Data” or “Data Inc.” is not as simple as collecting everything you can and


sifting out what you don’t need later. Well, it could be, but then that’s inher-


a staffi ng perspective you have to dedicate employees (or employ contract consultants) to spend valuable time needlessly analyzing data for trending conclusions not wanted. And then there’s the bandwidth and archiving issues with which to wrestle. While electronically weeding out the data chaff and dross from the useful seeds can diff er by facility, some standard categories geared toward healthcare reform and population health are worth noting. In the second of a two-part series, Health Management Tech-


nology reached out to a group of executives in the data analytics space to provide guidance in wading through the bits and bytes amassing in databases, desktop PCs, laptop PCs, tablets and smartphones nationwide.


programs such as the Patient Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program (a.k.a., meaningful use) that defi ne the quality measures that should be reported. However, despite these regulatory programs, the choices of what to measure with the clinical data can be blinding for many. Explorys advocates that con- sumers of these analytics start with a small number of metrics – perhaps as few as fi ve to six that discern performance between providers and practice sites. In fact, the Explorys starter set is designed to ease providers and administrators into the process to avoid “analysis paralysis.” Start with a few and add new metrics regularly that are actionable, relevant, accurate and sustainable.


Eric Mueller, Director, Product Management, Lumeris


Clinicians need tools to get the right information to the right people in a timely manner to enable value-based decisions. T e key is to look at the information and identify where opportunities to en- hance performance lie. T at having been said, we can get even more


HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY www.healthmgttech.com

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