How Hospitals Can Drive More Value From Data Analytics

As adoption of EMRs at hospitals reaches saturation, hospitals and health systems are now trying to figure out how to make the most of the vast amounts of data being collected by their information systems. Focusing on data analytics in the perioperative setting can drive significant value for a hospital, given the large share of dollars running through the department every day. The ORs can account for around 35 of a hospital’s costs and 60 percent of their income, so they are an obvious place to start.

There remain significant challenges, especially with finding the proper talent to drive the analytical work within hospitals. Finding the proper resources, in both personnel and money, can be a challenge for hospitals of any size. Getting it right, however, can lead to tremendous results. At a recent roundtable at the Becker’s 5th Annual CEO + CFO Review, the challenges and benefits were expressed at length:

“It’s been amazingly helpful,” said the executive vice president and COO of the Illinois AMC, noting the command center helps cut down on delays and makes communication easier. He did state, however, that the data collection system cost a few million dollars on top of the building to build out, hinting at the importance of staying on top of data analytics to see a solid return on investment.

Of course, not all hospitals or ambulatory surgery centers have the resources to implement a “command center”, as many facilities are still using old-school methods to track data.

“There is still a large percentage [of hospitals] that are using pen and paper in the OR,” said the chief development officer of an anesthesia management company. The company works in roughly 190 different hospital and ASC facilities. “[There’s a] transition to IT but in some ways, it’s slow-going. There [are] still a lot of ORs with paper.”

Read the entire article here: Analytics in the operating room: A world of potential waiting to be unlocked

As the transition from pen and paper to EMRs reaches its climax, hospitals find themselves sitting on a treasure trove of data. Hospitals must find and train the right staff to unlock the value from the data, and must work hard to retain those same people who may be recruited elsewhere due to rapidly changing market dynamics. Hospitals must also work with the right vendors who are focused on the long-term success of their clients instead of short-term wins. Having these two components in place can go a long way towards unlocking the value of EMR data.