How to Improve Efficiency And Quality In Hospital Healthcare

An increase in the healthcare services portfolio, combined with population growth, ageing, and the progressive sophistication of treatments are making healthcare in hospitals increasingly more complex. Projects aimed at improving the efficiency and quality of healthcare need to integrate massive volumes of internal hospital information coming from heterogeneous sources, to verify the quality of this information and to make it available for analysis.

The ability to extract knowledge from integrated sources through analysis represents a big step forward in terms of efficiency, rationalization, and disease prevention, as well as the capacity to ensure a population’s health and the professional development of its healthcare providers.

Many specialized healthcare processes are already digitized, and thus generate vast amounts of information. It is possible to compile data regarding physician orders, medicine prescribed or files containing clinical information, but the data quality often suffers, particularly when coming from heterogeneous sources. Electronic health records can provide many benefits for providers and their patients, but the benefits depend on how they are used. For those hospitals willing to attain the Meaningful Use defined by the Centres for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Incentive Programs in order to be eligible to earn incentive payments, data quality is essential. Because it is so important and difficult to achieve, companies often must enlist engineers to do the work.

But health care professionals need to be able to access and analyze high-quality data autonomously. Instead of depending on engineers and IT departments, healthcare professionals themselves must gain maximum autonomy to clean data, build validation rules, define indicators, decode, enrich models, analyze instantly and produce relevant information, while ensuring adherence to data protection laws and handling corporate and personnel data with discretion and security.

Management involves measuring. In healthcare this means the balanced scorecard, with activity and results indicators that span all aspects of hospital healthcare, including care (hospitalization, emergencies), financial management (consumption, budget monitoring) and HR factors (shifts, replacements), so that goals related to efficiency and scheduled contracts can be evaluated. Healthcare directors are preparing to equip their facilities with new and innovative tools and technologies that maximize knowledge and professional development, and enable them to deliver all citizens high quality health care, even as the system rapidly changes and increases its demands.

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