Margins for healthcare organizations are tight. At the same time, governmental and commercial payers are increasingly moving towards value-based payment models and demanding data exchange and interoperability from healthcare organizations. Now is the time to elevate your data analytics game.

Yet leaders of small and mid-size healthcare entities often struggle with getting a data analytics program off the ground. Developing and deploying a data analytics and visualization program doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Taking stock of what data your organization has and asking a few key questions can help focus and guide your efforts to build a data analytics program.

What organizational challenges exist?

Where are your blind spots? Brainstorm with a small group of leaders involved in the day-to-day management of clinical, revenue cycle and other administrative processes and ask where they could use more information. What information do they know is out there, but not easily accessible? How are current reports useful? How could they be improved? Focusing on answering these questions, will keep data analytics projects on track to be valuable tools in managing your organization’s operations.

What kinds of data do we have?

A healthcare organization’s data may reside in multiple, disparate systems. Clinical data is housed in the EHR; accounts receivable, revenue and cost information in the financial system; quality and patient satisfaction information may be reported by third parties. Start by documenting what information is housed in each system. Simply capturing what information is available and comparing it to the feedback received from leaders about informational blind spots will guide you in determine what data analytics projects may be the most impactful.

How easily can we get the data?

Once you have taken stock of the systems and data available to your organization, it’s helpful to understand how accessible this data is. Can your EHR only export reports as PDFs? Can reports only be generated manually? Which systems can you establish data connections to—allowing the organization to schedule routine refreshes of reports and dashboards built off of this data? These questions can help an organization identify what projects and reports may yield the most helpful information in the shortest amount of time.

Identifying data analytics projects that can be quickly implemented to address a clear need is a great way to demonstrate the value of such a platform and build organization buy-in to tackle more complex data aggregation and visualization challenges.

Real world wins

Dean Dorton is working with our healthcare clients to develop dashboards and reports which go beyond their past reporting capabilities. We’ve worked with physician practices and hospitals to develop:

  • Dynamic Accounts Receivable dashboards which give leaders the tools to identify and drill into potential poor performance areas.
  • Denials reporting dashboard that allows a cross-functional team to view the organization’s entire denials activity and investigate breakdowns leading to denials in all steps of the revenue cycle management process.
  • Aggregate physician compensation, productivity and clinical quality performance into a single dashboard with comparisons to relevant benchmarks.

Dean Dorton can work with your leadership team to establish benchmarks, compare performance, and justify decisions. We can assist with aggregating data from clinical systems, financial platforms and patient satisfaction surveys into side by side analytical tools that leverages industry, system, and individual provider data to offer strategic insights into the holistic business, optimize the revenue cycle and improve business performance.

Learn more about Dean Dorton’s Healthcare services:

Dean Dorton HealthcareJay Swacker, CPA, CIA, CHC, CHFP, CHDA
Healthcare Consulting Manager • 859.425.7691

Kylie Waters, CPA
Healthcare Consulting Associate Director • 859.425.7704