Randy Thomas Segment: Health Data Management “Surgical Analytics” Article, August 2013 Issue

Dashboards provide information that administrators want to review because visual tools have a pre-set list of metrics to test, says Randy Thomas, a health analytics consultant at

Encore Health Resources. “Those metrics tell you where you are, but they don’t necessarily tell you what to do about it. A dashboard will uncover a problem with antibiotics, but analytics helps you identify the problem and its causes,” Thomas says.

Few hospitals, though, deploy what could be considered “real” analytics in the surgical suite today because of high costs, although that soon could change, Thomas says. Analytics will enable specific queries of data to uncover what’s happening with supply costs-surgery drives 40 percent of a hospital’s costs-and with clinical and financial decisions. As electronic health records implementations wind down and pressure rises to use electronic measures to provide metrics on care, “this will be the leverage to start using data in the systems,” Thomas says.

Also, the bulk of EHR deployments will wrap in 2015, and providers will enter the later stages of meaningful use. “The primary focus after 2015 will be analytics, “she predicts. For now, EHR installations and other LT. upgrades can let providers determine how they want the data to be used, Thomas says. “Ensure you have the data you need for in-house use, payer contracts and regulatory compliance.” When upgrading to Stage 2, she suggests placing a few bets now. “Look beyond the hospital to incorporate patient self-reported data, and data from physician offices, home health and long-term care,” she says. “Have a logical plan of the data you will need and how to get it.”

Read the full article here:  http://digital.healthdatamanagement.com/healthdatamanagement/august_2013#pg32