Healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of the health of individuals through diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury and other physical and mental impairments in human beings. Healthcare is delivered by health professionals such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, clinicians etc. Basically, anything involved in the process of providing primary care, secondary care, public health and/or tertiary care falls under the umbrella healthcare. Considering how broad the field of healthcare is, knowing the best way to navigate it definitely adds an advantage. Hence researchers and health scholars constantly come up with best practices for health care to help the healthcare industry function properly and improve. Below are some ways that have been proven as best practices that if applied wisely, can help a healthcare organization function effectively and efficiently.
Making Use of Data Analysts
Every healthcare practitioner and management staff in a healthcare organization’s wants and seeks to optimize the value of their data analysts and effectiveness. One of the main ways they can do this is by being sufficiently aware that data analysts aren’t as effective as they could be is not having access to the right tools. When analysts are not properly being assigned the right tasks, they spend most of their time gathering data, validating data acquisition methods, reformatting, ensuring appropriate data types, trimming, cleaning, scrubbing, and conforming data in preparation for analysis and reporting. Analysts should use their analytical skill to use in better ways like helping the healthcare organization solve problems and make improvements. They should be given a safe space to put their know-how to use. The root of the problem is not usually the lack of the right tools to analyze data and discover insights that would drive care and process improvement initiatives. It usually is spending too much time collecting data and not enough time transforming it into meaningful analytics.
Hospital readmission is the situation where a patient is readmitted to a hospital after he/she has been discharged for the same reason or for a related medical issue. Readmission rates are a common benchmarked used to measure healthcare systems and used in healthcare research. It is a best practice to seek to reduce the readmission rate for healthcare organizations. The low rate of readmission means better care is being provided to patients and there is a usually a positive correlation between readmission rates and patient satisfaction.
Understanding and measuring the current readmission rates of patients is a good way to work towards achieving this goal. It’s a general saying that you can’t improve what you can’t measure. Same goes for readmission rates. The first step toward quality improvement is to establish readmission baselines, track performance metrics and distribute information to every unit and individual involved in the processes of reducing readmissions. There is a healthcare analytics adoption model that acts as a scale to measure this. Any score above 5 shows that the healthcare organization will be able to achieve this goal. Another way is to establish a 30 and 90-day readmission baseline measure. This is important so that data being used is always current and fresh. Old data dwindles in relevance and makes it difficult to engage clinicians in clinical improvement initiatives.
Focusing on Patient Care
Patient care is another good indicator of the effectiveness and efficiency of a healthcare organization. An effective and efficient population health management program requires fundamental changes to the way patient care management is handled and practiced. To have effective patient care, healthcare organizations have to be smart about accelerating development of the right areas and manage expectations about what can be achieved.
Healthcare organizations that have learned and mastered the steps and possess of these best practices will be will on their way to achieving their goals.