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Analytics Are Alive and Kicking: Getting Every Healthcare User to Leverage Data Analytics

By Michelle Gardner
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Healthcare organizations are under increasing pressure to streamline operations and run more efficiently, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care and reducing readmission rates. The best way to do this is to ensure every worker has easy access to data analytics—and that they actually use that information to make decisions. The latter part has proven to be trickier than expected for most organizations.

In fact, many analytics tools result in poor user adoption due to the over-generalization of those tools. Analytics is not one-size-fits-all: In any healthcare setting, different users will need to utilize data in vastly different ways. Take, for example, a hospital. Nurses on the floor need to quickly access high-level, comprehensive data on the go. On the other hand, hospital administrators may prefer to dive deep into detailed analytics dashboards on desktops.

To ensure user adoption of analytics, you need to tailor capabilities to your users’ skills and roles. This starts by understanding the three types of users you’re going to encounter in your organization.

In any healthcare setting, nearly every analytics user will fall into one of these three categories:

1. Consumers are users who prefer a defined experience. They have a standard set of metrics or KPIs to track in order to do their job effectively, and those metrics don’t change very often. Within a hospital, this may be the on-call nurse who is responsible for monitoring the intensive care unit. He or she would refer to a preformatted dashboard or report on an iPad to keep track of patient data, such as how many people were readmitted to the floor or the number of occupied beds at a given time.

2. Creators are users who value a managed experience, but want to supplement standard metrics with new dashboards and reports that they can create themselves. Within a hospital, this could be the head of the clinical department who wants to study and link the most common diagnoses among readmitted patients, so that he or she can share that information with other teams and management executives on a weekly basis.

3. Analysts are users who prefer a completely self-guided experience. These users measure data daily, and often don’t have any particular direction or specific questions they need answered. They are open and want the data to speak to them. Within the hospital, this would be the finance analyst who frequently performs cost studies and allocations based on settlement claims in order to provide future recommendations for improvement.

Once you’ve identified the end users in your organization, ask yourself whether your analytics solution meets everyone’s needs—or just the needs of a select group. By catering to users with individualized needs and levels of expertise, you can provide everyone—from the hospital administrator to the desk assistants—with the ability to understand data and derive insights to make their own conclusions and decisions.

Learn more about leveraging data analytics to improve the healthcare system in the eBook: Risk or Remedy: How Data Analytics Can Halt the Readmissions Crisis.


Originally published April 6, 2016; updated on August 10th, 2017

About the Author

Michelle Gardner is the Director of Corporate Marketing & Communications at Logi Analytics. She has over a decade of experience writing and editing content, with a specialty in software and technology.