Data is one of the most valuable and long-lasting assets in healthcare. Data governance isn’t a term that we hear very often. However, it’s an important term that describes how healthcare organizations collect and use data.
Data is useful for a multitude of purposes in healthcare. Healthcare boards and senior executives use data to control, influence and regulate people, actions and events. Data governance is a steering mechanism that effects change.
With the vast amounts of change currently taking place in healthcare, how well healthcare organizations manage data is a highly esteemed asset. Digital tools provide the mechanism for boards of healthcare organizations to efficiently collect, analyze and apply data to their decision-making.
How Governance Management Software Facilitates Data Governance
Collective data that is of good quality helps hospital boards work toward establishing policies and procedures that lead to the best outcomes for healthcare. Risk is a growing concern for hospital boards. Data helps to identify where risks originate and how best to mitigate them.
As healthcare transitions from fee-for-service to value-based care, data lends insight to healthcare organizations about the health needs within the community and what boards need to do to provide medically necessary services for the people in their communities.
Data yields many insights, including how many providers the organization needs, what specialties of providers they need, and what they need to do to meet the health needs of the community.
Technology Facilitates Data Processing and Analytics
When boards have excellent data, they find many valuable purposes for it. On the flip side, weak data and the lack of data influences board decision-making in less productive ways. It’s difficult to make a decision when you don’t have all the facts. For healthcare boards, not having enough data, or not having data in understandable forms, sometimes causes them to make extreme decisions.
Poor data may cause board directors to allocate too much or not enough funding for certain issues or programs. Data sometimes creates such great enthusiasm for new functions that board directors may be inclined to overapply data. Other circumstances may encourage board directors to underapply data due to their lack of experience with it or their lack of understanding of it.
Not understanding data or misinterpreting data creates risk for healthcare organizations. Vendors and consultants can benefit unfairly from confusion when data is new and not well understood. Data also influences changes to workflow, which makes it vital to have good quality data for decision-makers.
Technology Offers Solutions for Data Collection and Analysis
Governance management software is a valuable resource for healthcare organizations. Starting with a board portal, board directors of healthcare organizations can collaborate online to organize, analyze and prioritize data to inform their decisions.
A board portal brings board members together where they can share reports online to contrast and compare results in real time. As new information becomes available, the board can pull archived reports in order to conduct a comprehensive review.
Using Board Portals to Organize Data
The healthcare industry collects data that covers numerous departments and areas of health. Beyond specific health specialties, additional areas where data is helpful pertains to electronic medical records, cost accounting, scheduling, registration, materials management and more.
As the board and senior executives analyze data, they can make the results available to stakeholders, investors, donors, patients and members of the community. The user permissions feature restricts confidential information, allowing access only to those who need to access it. Thus, the board portal supports HIPAA and other regulations around patient confidentiality.
Board Portals Support Making Data Meaningful
Research data can be quite complex to understand. Board directors can come together inside the safety and security of a board portal to discuss research results and make decisions about using the best analysis tools so that the results have real meaning. The board portal is the best place to sort out data into categories, whether it is meaningful, inadequate, scarce or incomplete.
Classifying and Organizing Content Online
Board portals use cloud-based technology, which eliminates all worries about paper copies getting lost or damaged. Board directors can set up classifications for categories of data and build their collection of reports and information for long-term comparison.
In addition to gathering research studies, healthcare organizations may collect patient data to analyze how it relates to clinical studies. Genetic data, familial data, bedside devices data, patient-reported outcomes and other data combine to build data sets to be analyzed in connection with health conditions and community statistics, so board directors can give scope to their decision-making.
The board portal allows board members and senior executives to add notes, annotations and freehand drawing to their charts and reports and share their notes with others.
As the board needs to make decisions, a board portal allows them to bring out all the necessary pieces of information, including health information, patient information, provider information, equipment needs and cost requirements, so they can have meaningful discussions about how best to provide healthcare for the patients in their communities.
For-profit hospitals can also use the technology to enhance their strategic planning efforts and to make sure they’re working toward profitability and responsibility to their shareholders.
Using data to prioritize board discussions and decision-making aids in strategic planning. Along the same lines, data helps prioritize the allocation of funds and resources, so the board can work toward achieving its goals.
Board Portals Store a Master Database of Information
Electronic board solutions organize data so that board directors can find and retrieve the reports and data they need quickly. Being able to pull up multiple reports and documents helps board members and executives resolve conflicting data.
In addition to storing and organizing data, boards can use the portal to store coded data, algorithms to bind data for consistent use, and regional and industry standards for continuous reference.
Healthcare Is Changing and Technology Helps Healthcare Boards Change With It
As the structure for healthcare reimbursement shifts to value-based care and outcomes, board directors of healthcare organizations must change how they collect, organize and prioritize data. Today’s healthcare organizations need to leverage data governance so that it gives them the information they need to provide quality healthcare in ways that are efficient, safe and cost-effective.