4 Ways Data Streamlines Healthcare Operations Management

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The healthcare industry is one that has the most to potentially gain from the implementation of data solutions. There are a few reasons for this. First, the massive amount of potential data involved in healthcare means that there are many insights that just haven’t been uncovered yet. Additionally, healthcare is an industry that has dire, immediate effects on the lives of patients and their families. It’s crucial that everything possible is being done to improve operations. Here are five ways data can create healthcare business solutions by streamlining operations management.

Healthcare Operations Management

Optimized Scheduling

There are two main ways that scheduling plays an important role in the healthcare world. The more obvious way—the way known to anyone who has made an appointment with a doctor—is with patients. It’s taking longer now than it has in the past for patients to see a doctor. In fact, the time to schedule an appointment is increasing dramatically in a lot of urban area. It has increased to 24 days in these areas—up 30 percent since 2014. There are a few factors causing this increase—such as retirements and changes to insurance. Data can potentially alleviate some of this burden by identify more efficient scheduling practices.

The other way scheduling plays a huge role in healthcare is through its internal operations. In today’s healthcare environment, doctors and other professionals need to spend a lot of time meeting with patients and each other. This can be exhausting for staff which would like to spend time focusing on other areas. Data-driven healthcare business solutions can help hospitals and other organizations do a better job when it comes to internal time management by tracking patient trends.

Lower Readmission Rates

Hospital readmissions are universally despised by providers and patients alike. Everyone involved would rather have patients stay home once they are discharged from an institution. This, however, can’t always be the case—as there some unforeseen complications are simply unavoidable. At the same time, it’s possible to greatly improve upon this key metric by delving into what factors lead to people being readmitted to the hospital. Oftentimes, these things seem fickle, but leveraging more data to solving this problem has the potential to unlock solutions that previously could never have come to light.

Fewer Staff Errors

This might come as a disturbing surprise to a lot of people: Hospital error is one of the top causes of death in the U.S. Research shows that well over 400,000 people died as a result of preventable errors in 2013. Hospitals need to be a place of trust. Of course, not everyone can do the right thing 100 percent of the time. Hospital workers are in the unfortunate situation where if they have a bad day at work, it could cost someone their life. This isn’t something most people have to worry about at their 9-5. However, this doesn’t mean that processes can’t be improved through data-driven healthcare business solutions. Creating stronger checks and balances within internal hospital operations can potentially help save lives.

Better Outpatient Care

Outpatient care should be considered an integral part of healthcare management—even if it isn’t necessarily happening on premises. One-way healthcare providers are improving outpatient care is by tracking real-time patient data. This includes things like vital functions such as heart rate and blood pressure. But it can really be anything that’s trackable through a digital device. Staying on top of a patient’s health after they’ve left the hospital will lead to better long-term results.

Healthcare is an industry of nearly limitless data points. The better professionals can harness the power of this data, the better they will be able to serve their patients.