5 Tips to Cut through the Data Deluge in Healthcare

Hospitals and health systems are facing a data deluge. As a result, they often struggle to translate the vast amount of data into actionable insights and real results. 

"We are swimming in an ocean of information with no towline to get us to the right shoreline," said Anna Daly, Vice President of Data Analytics and Innovation at Conduent, in a November 18 webinar.

During the presentation, sponsored by Conduent and hosted by Becker's Hospital Review, Daly broke down several tips and strategies health systems can deploy to cut through the noise and get the most out of their data. 

Here are five key strategies and tips to get results from your data:

  1. Start with the end-game in mind. The best place to start is by understanding what the organization wants to get out of its data and making sure the data is relevant and accurate. "I always think of approaching any health analytic initiative by looking at how it can support any of the goals that are part of the quadruple aim: reducing costs, improving population health, addressing the patient experience or improving the healthcare team's wellbeing," said Daly.
  2. Curate, cleanse and review the data regularly. "Nothing is truer than the old adage of garbage in, garbage out," said Daly. She added that it is also important to continually review data for relevance, cleanliness and appropriateness. Without this regular review and cleanse, health systems will struggle to obtain meaningful insights.
  3. Focus on a single challenge at a time. Providers should limit the focus of each data analytics project to make a meaningful difference and keep the user engaged, Daly explained. For example, if the goal is to improve clinical outcomes, conduct a deep dive into one specific disease at a time. This can allow the right providers and stakeholders to see data on quality performance indicators, patient outcomes as well as problem areas, said Daly.
  4. Understand the audience. While presenting data, understand the audience and what the audience will do with the data. From there, it is important to tailor the message and visualization of the data to their level of understanding. One way to execute this is to create role-based dashboards so that the right meaning is conveyed to the right person. "The quickest way you can lose your audience and drown them is to show them data at the wrong level," said Daly.
  5. Design and simplicity of data visualization matters. The design and simplicity of data visualization directly affects how the audience understands trends, outliers and patterns. Items of the design, including colors and the type of graph used, make a difference. "If it takes a manual for you to train someone on how to use your visualization, you've done it wrong," said Daly.

To learn more about how health systems can share the right data to drive optimal performance and meaningful insights, listen to the webinar replay here.

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