Chartis Group suggests steps for maximizing value of analytics programs

A new white paper identifies the challenges health systems need to overcome for a successful analytics program.
By Benjamin Harris
03:13 PM
Chartis Group suggests steps for maximizing value of analytics programs

Now that the data has been collected, what to do with it? As health data in various forms have proliferated at hospitals for the past two decades, the newest challenge lying ahead is how to better analyze it.

Investing in newer technology and systems alone won’t help. Instead, organizations should build analytics programs to gain insight into and derive value from the data they have spent so much time collecting.

In a new white paper, the Chartis group identify nine areas health systems need to focus on in order to have a successful enterprise-level analytics program.

Researchers note that many of the needs extend beyond the mere analytics apparatus and instead encompass everything from how data is collected and governed to the people who work in the program and how they are trained and led.

Those nine key must-haves for analytics success, according to Chartis:

  • Program governance
  • Leadership
  • Program and staffing structure
  • Data governance
  • Data architecture
  • Tools and capabilities
  • Change management
  • Communications
  • Training and education

"While data does not hold the promise on its own, applying algorithms, visualization and analytics can surface an abundance of intelligence to drive performance improvement and strengthen overall organizational position," said Chartis researchers. "The challenge is how to best position the organization’s analytics program to fully leverage that information. Creating a dynamic enterprise analytics plan is a keystone to align and advance the organization’s analytics competency."

Leveraging analytics to let data paint a larger picture can do many things for a hospital network. Programs exist that can proactively identify application failures, keeping large IT systems distributed across a range of locations operating smoothly.

Similarly, analytics can scour patient data to deliver the most relevant information for clinicians, or help look for overall trends in population health or underserved areas in a market.

As much as these uses promise to improve care and reduce costs, they alone are not magic bullets and require a well-run network and the policies and culture necessary to ensure the long term integrity of data.

"Implementing and operating a high-performing analytics program involves much more than acquiring technology or technical analytic capabilities," says Carl Dolezal, Chartis Principal, Informatics & Technology, who co-wrote the paper. "It is essential to address the multi-faceted requirements for effective use of these expanded analytics capabilities to create a truly data-driven enterprise."

"An organization’s enterprise strategy should be at the center of an analytics program; it sets the direction, goals and priorities for how to leverage the program," added co-author Dr. Mark Van Kooy, Chartis Principal, Informatics & Technology. "It is also important that an analytics program aligns to the organization’s strategy to ensure information is available to measure progress and adjust as needed."

Benjamin Harris is a Maine-based freelance writer and and former new media producer for HIMSS Media.
Twitter: @BenzoHarris.

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