Good data can be a powerful tool in improving patient care

LH_low-resThere’s a story of a group of doctors who were measured on how well they controlled patients’ blood pressure. When the scorecard came out, a physician was at the bottom and a nurse practitioner was near the top. Talk about a wake-up call. No doctor wants to be last on any clinical measurement.

Physicians want the best for patients, but they often don’t know how the care they deliver compares to their peers, either within their organization or the industry as a whole. As the above example illustrates, quality data analytics can give a clear view of performance, and more importantly, better patient care.

Good data can be a powerful tool for changing clinical culture and physician behavior. For patients, robust analytics drive better overall care management. Organizations apply data to two related areas: identifying patient populations in need of interventions and highlighting the specific needs of individual patients.

Data analyses find broad cohorts and segments them into targeted risk populations. Gaps in care should be stratified by age, gender and disease. Driving down from there, gaps in care management help identify unique care gaps for individual patients. That information can be given to physicians as a work list or added to patients’ electronic medical records.

All of this data gathering and analysis is a must in answering the challenges of measure reporting done under Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS). There are myriad analytic platform choices out there, but efficiency comes by consolidating analyses and reporting via one system.

For decades, providers and health care organizations added more complex tools and systems to their IT environments. Many now want to simplify, and that will take a single data analysis tool that can quickly and efficiently parse information from various sources.

To learn more about data analytics as patient care tools, download the Optum white paper, “Getting from big data to good data: Creating a foundation for actionable analytics,” by clicking here.

In our next post, we’ll discuss data capabilities for patient-centered medical home models.

About the Author:

Leslie Cozatt currently serves as Director of Marketing, Optum Provider – Thought Leadership and Content Strategy.

She directs the development of content that spotlights the role of data analytics in healthcare – specifically the transition to value-based care, risk management and population health management. She brings to her role more than 20 years of experience developing B2B and B2C integrated marketing campaigns for companies including ThreeWire, Eliance and 3M. Leslie attended the University of Minnesota and graduated from Wellington College with a BS in International Business & Communication.

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