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Utilizing Collected Details To Improve Health Care

There is no shortage of health care information. Research information, individual patient information, medication information, information regarding outcomes, safety policies, and clinical procedures already exists, and is added to daily. The key to healthcare quality improvement lies in how your facility, or hospital, or offices, or wound clinic accesses and utilizes that information. If information is simply gathered and stored in a data base, it will not help you improve health care, or help you to begin to cut the high costs associated with health care. Quality improvement in healthcare begins with analyzing information and using it to determine and prioritize goals and objectives.

To begin the quality improvement process in healthcare, you have to look at your current data base, your data storage, and capabilities of your systems. Early electronic information systems lack the ability to cross reference patient information, produce meaningful reports, and analyze factors that contribute to quality and costs. All the information in the world will not help you improve your policies, procedures, cost ratios and patient care, if you cannot access it and analyze it. It has to be active information to be helpful. If your providers cannot easily access the information through dashboards and portals, they cannot use it to determine interventions that can improve care while cutting costs. For example, if a patient of normal weight experiences symptoms of fatigue, dry mouth, and irritability, the provider may run several blood tests. If the patient's family history was readily available on screen, the provider would notice that diabetes runs in the family. A blood sugar test can be done to rule out that possibility, before a battery of tests is ordered. That would eliminate time and cost for the provider and the patient.

A Late-Binding data warehouse system can be installed and integrated to your current data base that would improve analytical capabilities and clinical accessibility to all patient information. You can identify areas that need the most improvement, and develop policies and procedures to address those areas. Administrative and clinical training is done so your teams can get the most benefit out of the new system. Training for end users is included in the design, development, and installation stages so everyone can access information when they need it. The project is rolled out in stages, with a return of investment noticed in as little as six months. The typical time line takes about 36 months, and upgrades and support continue after that.