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Three Capabilities for Strategic Planning Success, Part 2

DataBay Resources leaderBy Steven Dunn, Sales Director, DataBay Resources

In our previous post, we highlighted the importance of strategic planning in building a sustainable future for healthcare facilities, and highlighted market awareness and the questions you need to answer in beginning to formulate your plans.

 Data Access

Now you have a list of questions that need answers. Where do you go to find the answers? Many hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers utilize discharge data to help answer these questions.

Discharge data can help an organization examine its primary service area and better understand the ever-changing market dynamics. There are different types of hospital discharge records available in each state – outpatient (OP) or ambulatory surgery center (AMB), emergency department (ER), and inpatient (IP) and observation (OBS) data are some. Discharge data sets are collected based on requirements established by legislation from the state government. Mandatory requirements vary considerably based on the state, and submission is usually quarterly, with some states mandating receiving data annually. Hospital and ambulatory discharge records come from the UB-04 form that contains information on the date of admission, date of discharge, patient’s age, gender, county of residence, and primary and secondary ICD-10 and CPT diagnosis codes, etc.

Data Analysis

Once you have your questions and your data, you should be set now – right? The only problem is that when you are looking at the data, it’s only leading you to ask more questions…

  • Are other hospitals or free-standing surgery centers getting a larger share of high profit cases (private payer) and therefore have a better payer mix?
  • Is my demographic changing?
  • Is volume shifting, or is the type of procedure by age or location increasing?
  • Should we add service lines?
  • Do we need more or less physicians, where do they need to be located and where are our physicians taking their cases?

The truth of the matter is that data is useless without the tools and skills to analyze it. Find a partner with technology and applications that will either enable you or assist you in interpreting the data. Researching the market typically includes market share reporting, analyzing volume, service needs and competition. Having a mapping and data visualization tool to help you better understand the data profile sets and help you determine priority areas and identify intervention opportunities will be important.

The three capabilities of market awareness, data access and data analysis should be reviewed on a continual basis. The strategic planning process is never truly over. You must always be aware of the market, always be accessing new discharge data and always be analyzing the data. Don’t be afraid to monitor and revise the plan as needed.

Intalere subsidiary DataBay Resources provides strategic planning and market analysis software for interpreting and reporting on state and Medicare discharge data, disease-based predictive analytics to include consumer demographics and lifestyle segmentation, and physician manpower planning and database management.

Contact 877-711-5700 ext. 7213 or visit the DataBay Resources website to learn more.

Three Capabilities for Strategic Planning Success – Part1

Steve Dunn, DataBay ResourcesBy Steven Dunn, Sales Director, DataBay Resources

Strategic planning for a hospital or ambulatory surgery center is an important and necessary tool utilized by leadership teams to help them better understand the healthcare environment from both a national and local level in order to focus organizational goals and respond to changes and trends. A strategic plan provides a roadmap on where an organization is going and directions on how to get there. It is used to guide all decisions, including those regarding capital, technology, staff and other resources. Healthcare leaders need to continually assess and reassess the organization’s strategic plan.

Your organization’s strategic direction should be set within the context of its most significant challenges and its aspirations for the future. With that in mind, let’s explore three key capabilities that will help guide your strategic planning process.

Market Awareness

Before a plan can even be made, it’s critical that your organization conducts a business and operational analysis, with a significant focus centered on market awareness. It’s impossible to meet organizational goals without having a thorough understanding of the dynamics that make up your market. Assemble a list of key questions you need answered.

Top questions many strategic planning analysts are trying to answer for their executive leadership include:

  • What’s our market share, and what are the possible reasons for growth/decline?
  • How many procedures (colonoscopies, cardiac, ortho, etc.) did we do last quarter, or last year? What is the trend over three years?
  • What facility has the most market share in this county or ZIP Code?
  • Where did the highest number of our patients come from?
  • What’s our outmigration or patient leakage from our primary service area?
  • What is our competitor’s volume?
  • What are our opportunities for growth? Are there needs in the area not currently being met?
  • What is the profitability of specific service lines?
  • How many cases are coming from a ZIP Code?
  • How many specialists or subspecialists do we need for a specific geography?
  • Do we need to add physicians or service lines?

In our next post, we’ll look at how data access and analysis play a role in the process.

Intalere subsidiary DataBay Resources provides strategic planning and market analysis software for interpreting and reporting on state and Medicare discharge data, disease-based predictive analytics to include consumer demographics and lifestyle segmentation, and physician manpower planning and database management.

 Contact 877-711-5700 ext. 7213 or visit www.databayresources.com to learn more.

The Importance of Healthcare Data Cleansing and Validation

By Scott Mullins, Senior Director, Commercial Applications, Intalere and Executive Director, DataBay Resources

Many of the primary trends of the past several years continue to challenge hospitals and health systems. Many providers are continuing to develop and refine their Affordable Care Act (ACA) readiness strategies by exploring a variety of innovative reimbursement models and building infrastructure for population health management (PHM). All of these initiatives will depend on data.

Relevant, actionable data is the basic building block for an organization’s economic direction and also provides the facts and evidence needed both internally and externally to communicate the realities facing every stakeholder. Using the best data available and analytic tools, both in terms of spend and other areas, is the foundation to savings, improved bottom lines, improved clinical outcomes and efficient care delivery.

But more important than the amounts of data, is the quality of your data. Data can be virtually worthless to you if dirty, or not cleansed properly. Also referred to as data scrubbing, data cleansing is the process of detecting dirty data (data that is incorrect, out of date, redundant, incomplete or formatted incorrectly) and then removing and/or correcting the data.

Data cleansing is often necessary to bring consistency to different sets of data that have been merged from separate databases. Cleansing data involves consolidating data within a database by removing inconsistent data, removing duplicates and re-indexing existing data in order to achieve the most accurate and concise database. It can involve manual tasks or processes automated by special data quality tools. In many cases, these data quality tools need to be Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) compliant.

To get an idea of the importance of clean data, let’s review The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council (DFWHC) Education and Research Foundation as an example. DFWHC is an organization comprised of nearly 90 hospitals in the north Texas region that are committed to becoming the community resource to create knowledge, insight and wisdom for the continuous improvement of healthcare.

To achieve this vision, the DFWHC Foundation began collecting data from its members 15 years ago and recording it into a regional database. With this data, the organization is able to identify and address disparities related to language, ethnicity, race, culture, gender, age, income, literacy, health, diseases and access to healthcare in the community. The DFWHC Foundation then helps transform this information into knowledge that can be used to create health programs that benefit the community.

With good, clean data, the DFWHC Foundation can make more accurate analyses and provide evidence-based support to regional health partnerships, community programs and various public health committees. And this knowledge can mean greater operational efficiencies, cost reductions and reduced risk in healthcare.

The enhanced role of data in the future of healthcare is a certainty. But to be truly effective and make the best decisions in terms of cost and quality, the investment in data cleansing and validation must be a leading component of every healthcare facility’s data program.

To learn more, read this success story on how Intalere subsidiary DataBay Resources helped DFWHC overcome their data challenges.