Currently, there is a lot of wasted time and money in healthcare data management. While organizations have spent significant amounts of their budgets on Electronic Medical Record, or EMR, systems to make saving and finding records easier, the investment has not quite paid off yet. Now, employees are lost in the finding information stage instead of being able to efficiently use the medical information for providing better care and making decisions. The possibility is there, but steps need to be taken to improve healthcare data management.
What’s the Problem?
The main problem is that there is so much unorganized data within healthcare systems that it becomes difficult to find the information a professional is looking for at any given time. Important patient information can be located in many different areas. Data for one patient can exist in physician notes, claims, financial documents, lab and imaging systems, and other areas.
An EMR system is the right step, but organization of data hasn’t caught up yet. One of the main ways this problems wastes time and money is that trained and specialized analysts spend too much time looking for data instead of doing their jobs analyzing it. Some healthcare organizations say that as much as 80 percent of an analyst’s workload is currently focused on searching for data.
What Can Be Done?
So you’ve discovered that your organization has this problem of scattered information with wasted time and manpower. Fortunately, there are solutions that can help you turn it around. Consider these steps:
- Figure out who works with storing and analyzing information within your company, and create a team where they work together to organize data, beginning with data from the past year. They can also figure out the best way to move forward with data management, including organizing new data and coming up with a process the company will use for requesting data and analytics.
- Use an Enterprise Data Warehouse, or EDW, whether you buy it or create your own in-house. This helps organize information and identify which data goes with each patient. It requires an investment, but can be worth it in the end. Once it is in place, this tool can greatly help analysts find the information they need for reporting.
- Figure out the organizational model that would work best for your organization’s data management going forward.
How Will Better Data Organization Help Healthcare?
Once organizations have made steps to improve healthcare data management, their healthcare functions can run much more smoothly. Overall, they will run a more efficient organization without so much wasted time and money, which in the end can help provide a better patient and employee experience. Employees will have an easier time doing their jobs and be able to focus more attention on their intended job duties, while the organization will gain valuable understanding to provide complete care to patients and to personalize the care to each patient’s needs and wants.
Another important function is that organizations will be able to use the data they have to make important changes and decisions. It is essential to analyze current data to figure out problem areas and what solutions would help. One change that could result is more people being able to afford the healthcare services they need, which can happen if healthcare organizations are able to reduce their costs and pass on the savings to their patients. In the same vein, the organization will be able to help patients make better healthcare decisions, such as preventative choices, that can reduce costs.
Organizations will also be able to better keep up with changes in society and what people want from healthcare by leveraging the information they obtain. It has been noted that healthcare is changing because people want new options for obtaining care, there is more chronic disease, consumers and organizations want to incorporate technology into healthcare and other factors.
These ideas can help your organization become more organized and take advantage of the information you have access to. Making changes can provide benefits to your organization, your employees and your patients to improve the healthcare process as a whole.