Data analytics gives healthcare organizations endless amounts of data that providers aim to use to drive meaningful insight and improve patient outcomes. The challenge rests in segregating the vital information for a patient’s treatment decision from other unstructured data.
Kerry Fierstein, MD, CEO of Melville, N.Y.-based Allied Physicians Group, discusses the analytics platform her organization used to help providers make the appropriate clinical decisions — Dimensional Insight’s Diver Platform. The platform has a variety of features such as real-time alerts, event scheduling tools and automated report distribution.
Question: What makes analytics actionable to your physicians?
Dr. Kerry Fierstein: Analytics are most useful when you can relate them to real-time interactions. For example, it is much better to know what a patient needs when they are in front of you rather than having to call them from a list to try to get information. Our analytics solution Diver Platform, for example, puts the most pertinent information directly in front of the provider allowing them to make critical decisions directly at the point of care.
Q: Do you have programs that use analytics to improve clinical decision-making?
KF: At Allied Physician’s Group, we more so we use analytics to help design workflows. We have used our Diver Platform’s analytics on immunization rates to identify providers who need help in crafting the approach they take with their patients. By comparing the rates of obtaining hemoglobin and hematocrit among our various practices, we found that obtaining the blood sample while the patient is in-house is vastly superior to writing a script and asking them to get it done at a lab. This data convinced all of our offices to do blood work in-house.
Q: What are some of the challenges using analytics & what progress have you made?
KF: One of the biggest problems with analytics is stale data, which is very common when dealing with information provided by the insurance companies. At Allied Physician’s Group, we have created our own analytics in almost real time through the Diver Platform to help with this. It is still a challenge when dealing with insurance data, but we’ve seen moderate improvements.
Q: Where do you see the potential for data analytics?
KF: Currently, analytics are used to report on how we are doing. We need to make it shape what we are doing. To do that, the EMR needs to change from a data collecting/billing machine, to a clinical tool that can help analyze quality care. Business intelligence tools, like the Diver Platform, that can pull data from a number of disparate systems and help change the way we deliver care in real-time hold immense potential for the future of care quality through analytics.