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Customer Experience and Design

Someday my prints will come

In my last blog, I explained the five levels of the BI Maturity Model. Today, I’m going to elaborate on level one.

We all have to start somewhere. Healthcare is a profession that generates data by the ton. Most of this data is protected by federal laws for disclosure and is retained for decades in archaic storage media that is seldom ever used once it has been stored. Independent physicians generate paper charts and store them locally for a while then move them offsite.

Business Intelligence Level 1 Maturity is characterized by a total lack of awareness of most trends and areas that are ripe for improvement. Reporting, if any, is done by sharing spreadsheets or printouts. Some larger organizations might have the ability to generate some printed reports. Every report, sheet, or Access database is a one-off request. Usually it is developed by someone with a short-term need. Sometimes this quick and dirty report turns into the basis for managing the business.

This is not as bleak as it looks. It is a short step to begin leveraging these tons of data to improve your healthcare business. Start by identifying the business drivers. What are the levers that, when pulled, change your patient mix, change your collections, or change your throughput? What are you doing every day that, if automated or delegated, would free you to earn more fees? What are you doing every day that feels pointless? What is your gut telling you is wrong with your business?

Take a hard look at these kinds of drivers and write them down. Then, go for a walk. Roll them around in your head and think about how knowing about this information could give you the motivation or the justification for change. Think about the healthcare industry today. The federal government is paying physicians to move to electronic records. This is for one reason only: To jumpstart the ability to share patient data and vastly improve outcomes while saving money. You can do this on a micro scale right where you are.

Once you figure out what you want to measure, commit to it. Investigate the resources needed to collect and analyze this information. Ponder the changes to your daily procedures that better data can bring. Recognize that a little bit of pain in the beginning can generate a lot of gain over time. Decide here and now to start and stick to it.

Now, figure out your data sources. Where does the data come from? What format is it in? Can it be created electronically without a lot more effort? Do you need to hire an intern to transcribe it from paper to file? Whatever you choose, realize data quality is paramount at this step. Bad data is worse than no data. You MUST commit to getting it accurate.

Once you have the data sources worked out, where you will store it. Your choices are the cloud, local file servers, or local workstations. This decision is a factor of quantity, volume, and budget. Engage a qualified consultant to help you with this architecture.

Before you know it, you are at BI Maturity Level 2. Congratulations.

Join mywebinar, “An Introduction to Business Intelligence for Healthcare” on August 30th to learn more about the BI Maturity level.

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Mike Jenkins

Mike Jenkins has over 25 years of experience architecting, developing, and implementing solutions for organizations in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Mike is experienced in healthcare, finance, defense, manufacturing, training, and retail industries. Some of Mike’s healthcare projects include: developing a core measures proactive monitoring system; developing an eHealth strategy for a growing community hospital; implementing transparent pricing and outcomes measurement solutions; automating clinical and administrative tasks through forms automation; connecting multiple healthcare systems through a common patient portal; and developing an electronic medical record application. He designed the Physician’s Portal and Secure Messaging Product for one of the top-five vendors in clinical information systems. His application development experience includes Amalga, CPOE, Clinical Portals, Patient Portals, Secure Messaging, HIM, Interoperability, and NEDSS for State level health departments. He is a Project Management Professional (PMP), a Certified Rational Consultant (RMUC), a LEAN Black Belt, and a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS). He is fluent in most methodologies and teaches the PMP Certification course in Atlanta.

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