Leveraging Data Products to Revitalize the American Healthcare System
December 13, 2023
In the realm of healthcare, the toll on the well-being of practitioners is undeniable. The strain on both the mind and body is so profound that it poses a potential threat to the very foundation of our healthcare system. Shockingly, the American Medical Association reports that in 2021, "63% of physicians experienced symptoms of burnout", leading many to consider leaving the profession.
As the physician population decreases, overwork becomes pervasive, and fatigue sets in, the challenges intensify in tandem with the ever-growing patient numbers. The question arises: How can data products become a beacon of relief for our burdened healthcare professionals?
Addressing Overwhelming Demand
Emergency rooms across the United States grapple with unreasonable wait times, largely fueled by an excess of preventable cases. Insufficient follow-up care, restricted access to care, and a lack of preventative measures contribute to this predicament. A solution lies in leveraging organizational data to alleviate the stress on overworked physicians, enhance patient outcomes, and reduce overall healthcare costs.
Creating data products structured to solve systemic problems proves to be the most effective tactic. For instance, a data product focused on post-operative care and education could connect all relevant follow-up information for a specific surgery case. Analyzing readmissions for similar procedures could unveil patterns linked to inadequate post-operative education, prompting necessary adjustments.
While the impact of a single data product is evident, a comprehensive catalog of such solutions is key to maximizing data potential. Tailored to provide business solutions, this catalog empowers hospital networks and clinics to swiftly track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), segment them for specific service lines, and identify areas for improvement. The elimination of data focus issues is a hallmark of well-structured data products.
Data products within healthcare extend beyond Electronic Health Record (EHR) data. Human Resources (HR) data, often overlooked, holds immense potential for 'people analytics.' Addressing burnout, primarily caused by a lack of consistent support staff, involves building data products around HR data. This facilitates understanding talent retention challenges, acquisition needs, and the development of current associates, forming the foundation for a resilient healthcare system.
Integrating exit survey data, staffing information, associate survey data, and patient visit data into a single data product allows organizations to identify reasons for turnover and implement effective retention solutions swiftly. This product not only identifies pain points but also measures solution efficacy over time.
The EHR Nightmare
The implementation of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) brought benefits but also challenges, with clunky user interfaces and increased workloads for physicians. The path forward lies in developing highly functional, well-structured data products. These products pave the way for a future where AI assistants streamline EHR documentation, enhancing efficiency.
Well-structured data products identify items needing documentation at different workflow steps, establishing clear timelines for expedited EHR workflows. Without such products, future AI assistants may fail to alleviate inefficiencies in the EHR workflow.
The Issue of Interoperability
Interoperability challenges hinder effective patient care due to a lack of readily available patient history. Data products equipped with HL7 parsing technology offer a solution, allowing quick translation of HL7 messages into meaningful medical records that seamlessly integrate with existing EHR systems.
These data products save providers time and energy, streamlining HIE participation. Their capability to structure medical records into HL7 messages or integrate HL7 messages into provider-friendly formats is invaluable, representing a necessary investment in delivering quality care.
The Path Forward
Well-structured data products emerge as the linchpin for efficient data utilization, offering swift solutions to the inefficiencies plaguing the U.S. healthcare system. While internal data and analytics teams are crucial, external expertise, such as that provided by XponentL Data, can offer immediate value. With a proven record in generating value from data, particularly in the healthcare and life sciences sector, XponentL Data stands ready to propel organizations towards a revitalized healthcare landscape.