How to use Data to Improve the Quality of Care for Patients


Let's reflect:

Health data management has been around since the 1920s, with advancements to improve the quality of care to patients.

By 1928, the American College of Surgeons thought it's wise to improve medical records with an association known as the American Health Information Management Association. Forty years later (the 1970s), new approaches emerged with technological innovations, such as the use of computers taking the place of paper records. Even with the efforts of physicians and medical enthusiasts like Lawrence Weed, we are back to square one - to know how to use data to improve the quality of care to patients.

So very fast, let's look at how Healthcare Administrators with a Master's Degree use data to improve the quality of care for patients in the health industry. 

Data Mining in Healthcare - Proven Applications in Healthcare


1. Enhance patient engagement

Patients would love the introduction of smart devices that can record their health-related issues or activities such as heart attack rates, sleeping habits, weight gain, or weight loss, among others. This data can be used by health stakeholders once it is collected and integrated with other trackable data.

Excessive weight gain, for example, can be a sign of future high blood pressure disease. Patients are therefore required to keep their health on the watch to prevent such chronic diseases by using data acquired from the smart devices.

Additionally, new wearable track specific health conditions and relay the information to the cloud, where health professionals can review them. This can also be of help to patients suffering from diseases such as asthma - by becoming more independent and reducing doctor visits. 


2. Predictive analytics in healthcare

Predictive analytics has been a business intelligence trend for many years. Still, its potential applications are more than you can imagine - not just in the business world, but also in the health industry. Optum Labs, a United States research Collaborative, for example, managed to collect the ERHs of more than thirty million patients purposely to improve the quality of care for patients.

The primary goal of healthcare intelligence is to help health professionals make substantive data-driven decisions and to help improve the treatment of patients. This is specifically helpful to those patients with complicated health histories, and those suffering from chronic diseases. Additionally, this data can help in predicting how many or who could be at risk of a specific illness. 

3. Informed strategic planning

Big data in healthcare can be the best since sliced bread. It has allowed health stakeholders to plan activities within the health sector strategically. Physicians and other health stakeholders can today analyze data of different demographic groups and clearly understand the factors discouraging patients from seeking medical attention.

Additionally, health professionals with a master's degree in Healthcare Administration Program can use Google Maps, as well as health data to make heat maps that target a ton of issues such as chronic diseases. This can help the health industry stakeholders to revise their strategy in terms of delivery and create more care units to areas with limited care units. 

What it Means to Have a Patient-centered Approach to Care 

Definition of patient-centered care

Patient-centered care is serving patients, as well as their families, in better and meaningful ways. That said, patient-centered care involves listening, informing, and engaging the sick in their medical health conditions.

The Institute of Medicine has a better definition, though. IOM describes patient-centered care as the act of providing care in a respectful, responsive, and the patient's preferences, as well as ensuring that patients agree with all clinical decisions.

But what are some of the approaches that health professionals should take? Let's look at the patient-centered approaches: 

Approaches to patient-centered care 

1. Inform and educate patients

Healthcare administrators have the knowledge and experience to keep records organized for doctors and nurses by setting up an effective digital system that keeps track of all clinical records. The system is easy to use and quick when doctors want to pull up patient's health records.

Nevertheless, this system gives access to patients to login from anywhere and download and/or view their records. Patients want to stay in the loop and well informed about their health status. That's why we make sure our Master's in Healthcare Administration candidates are up to date with the latest healthcare trends and technologies.

2. Access to care

Patients have the right to access care when needed. This means that data should help in improving the quality of care for patients by making it easy to schedule appointments, easily access hospitals when need be, make sure there's the availability of medical specialists.

3. Respect patient's values

Health specialists must involve patients and their families' values in decision making because everyone has his or her preferences. The data collected in the health sector should enhance the treatment of patients with respect and dignity. 

How to Create Actionable Strategies to Improve Patient Care 

1. Building strong data strategies

The next-generation healthcare management will rely on solutions that collect data from different systems, storing the data in one central place. Once data is collected and stored in one place, healthcare management can come up with strategic plans.

A Master's in Healthcare Administration is a professional degree that teaches the fundamentals of health administration, such as the management of hospitals and other major organizations.

Organizations can grow when hiring well trained candidates with a Master's degree in Healthcare Administration. These candidates will assist in transforming data to strategies. And while it's true that the healthcare industry needs integrated data, a good strategy doesn't mean volumes of data - it can only be better if the data is used to create a holistic view of patients.

2. Data mining

This is not the first time you hear about data mining - you have probably heard about it before. Data mining has been used in the past and even today, to improve customer experience in different industries, including the health sector.

In the healthcare industry, data mining has played a significant role in bolstering customer relationships, identification, and mitigation of fraud and abuse, proper management in the healthcare sector, predictive medicine, as well as a performance measurement of specific treatments. 

 In Conclusion - Set Up Department-wide and Hospital-wide Goals to Analyze Data 

The reason why companies in different industries set employees' goals is that they work effectively. Goals increase the morale of employees both as a team and individually. Even though there are a ton of self-driven individuals in the healthcare industry, you have to do a few benchmarks to improve the quality of care for patients. It would be best if you laid down goals in line with HCAHPS responses. For example, you need to ask yourself what goals you aim for as a department and as an organization.

Finally, pursuing a Master's degree in Healthcare Administration will play a significant role in helping you set up department-wide and hospital-wide goals. So you need it if you don't have it yet. 

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