by Lina Patel, MHA, FACHE
Associate Vice President, Product Strategy and Management

Health systems and providers today face a unique set of challenges: delivering high-quality, cost effective care while balancing decreasing reimbursement and new value-based payment models. The ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have also heightened the need for organizations to be adaptable, flexible and reliable.

A comprehensive enterprise-wide data-driven strategy is essential to adapting and thriving in this new environment.  Accurate, meaningful data within the acute care setting as well as across the continuum of care empowers hospitals and provider practices to improve quality, mitigate risks and accelerate performance.

Data by itself doesn’t do much to help organizations improve in meaningful ways. Continuous collaboration, innovation in strategy design and operational efficiency are what informs and equips decision-makers to drive performance and lead change.

Clinical data must enhance visibility and clarity to drive sustained performance improvement. Visibility helps identify performance gaps and creates actionable insights that improve outcomes. Clarity is achieved by taking a vast amount of data, organizing it and connecting quality and financial metrics to support decision-making.

With an enterprise-wide data strategy, a large acute-care teaching hospital in the western part of the U.S. was able to evaluate their competitive market and uncover an opportunity to increase spine surgery capacity in their facility.

Engaging clinicians with data insights

Utilizing data insights allows hospital leadership, physicians and medical groups to analyze performance across departments and disciplines to improve areas such as physician productivity, coding and compliance, charge capture, collections, denials, contract rate management, patient access and quality of care. Examining the data with consistent methodology across care sites ensures the same things are measured and evaluated in the same way across the organization.

Data insights, including practice data, must reflect what we need to know about patient access, quality and provider productivity. Organizations can look at performance across several levels, such as clinician, facility or system – and measure that performance against peer benchmarks to uncover improvement opportunities and define priorities.

These insights tell a story about what’s happening at an organization. Armed with this information, organizations can bring hospital leaders and providers together to have a discussion and collaborate to improve patient care, quality and financial performance. When engaged clinicians are part of the conversation, they have a hand in shaping performance improvement efforts, which delivers far better results.

However, this is just the beginning of the improvement journey. As an organization is making changes, understanding the impact of these changes is critical. Examining new data insights on an ongoing basis with leadership, clinicians and data experts is what enables a cycle of continuous improvement and how provider practices and physician organizations evolve for long-term success.

Optimizing your clinical practice

Improvement in health care isn’t easy, but the right analytics, technology and expertise are more important than ever to adapt and thrive for long-term success. The right data and partner can help organizations understand their practices and their impact on performance. These data insights combined with engaged clinicians and a trusted partnership are a winning combination for performance improvement.

Listen to Vizient’s Modern Practice podcast to hear how a data-driven model enables complex analysis of clinical practices to drive policy, refine best practices and deliver better outcomes. We also discuss examining a new framework for health care, with the idea that it must be more adaptable, flexible and reliable than in the past.

Learn more about the Clinical Practice Solutions Center and how we can help physicians and medical groups improve clinical operations, enhance quality and safety and optimize revenue.

About the author: Lina Patel joined Vizient in 2017 and currently serves as the AVP of Product Strategy and Management. In this role, she leads the development of analytic and reporting tools to help guide performance and strategy discussions at member organizations, focusing on practice plan and provider performance metrics. Prior to joining Vizient, Lina spent 10 years as the Director for two of the largest ambulatory practices at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the pediatric arm of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. In her leadership roles with pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Transplant, and Emergency medicine, Lina worked directly with over 60 physicians, managing outpatient clinic, faculty practice and infusion center operations at the main and satellite locations. In this role, she also partnered with physician and administrative leaders to improve the patient experience, fellowship programs, grants and contracts, including the hemophilia 340B program, and a philanthropic portfolio of over $30 million. Lina has also served in data analytics and quality improvement roles with the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, and grass roots education, volunteer engagement, surveillance and epidemiology work with American Cancer Society.

Published: December 4, 2020