­­­How To Make Data-Driven Decisions With Practice Performance Data

by | Mar 10, 2022

As a physician or professional healthcare practitioner whose founding career ideal was to treat sick people and make them well, the last thing you may want to think about is more IT, more computers, more “Data Analytics.” Nevertheless, as we all well know, in today’s healthcare industry, the demands for optimal performance – both financially and in care quality outcomes – are becoming ever-more challenging and critical.

Appreciating and separating today’s leading-edge Data-Driven Decision-Making (or “DDDM”) compared to the use of data in past decades (across almost all industries) requires some nuanced thinking and understanding.

“In the field of data analytics, there are several buzzwords that, while important, are poorly defined because of their complexity,” notes Kelsey Miller of Northeastern University on the school’s Graduate Programs website. “These terms, such as ‘big data,’ ‘cloud computing,’ and ‘data-driven’ can seem obscure to laymen.”  So, what is data-driven decision-making in healthcare – and how can you use it to your advantage?

What Is Data-Driven Decision-Making (“DDDM”)?

In its most basic definition, data-driven decision-making is an organizational approach that uses facts, metrics and data to inform and guide decisions that serve the organization’s goals, rather than relying on “intuition,” “gut feel,” or even unmeasured “observation” solely.

Northeastern University’s Miller defines DDDM as the process of making organizational decisions based on actual data rather than intuition or observation alone. The term describes a decision-making process that involves collecting data, extracting patterns in the data, and utilizing those facts to make inferences that influence decision-making.

Broadly, this involves identifying existing sources of data, continuing to collect data, extracting patterns and facts from that data, and employing those facts to ensure effective planning and validating a course of action before committing time and resources to it. The success of DDDM does rely on the quality of the data collected and the effectiveness of its analysis and interpretation. It also relies on the ability of decision-makers to use actionable data – such as healthcare dashboards – to inform decisions.

Why Data-Driven Decisions Are Key For Your Medical Practice

Today’s practitioners must be open-minded and flexible to accept and appreciate that data analytics can improve not only the financial and operational performance of their medical practice but also patient health outcomes as well. While DDDM can most easily and effectively be used to better identify and define business opportunities and financial adjustments that can improve practice operations – the use of DDDM to improve care quality and outcomes should not be dismissed.

While acknowledging the more obvious notion that at the practice business level DDDM can lower costs, streamline internal operations, and enhance profitability, the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences goes on to explain in a Jan. 13, 2021 article on its website that “The use of health data analytics allows for improvements to patient care, faster and more accurate diagnoses, preventive measures, more personalized treatment, and more informed decision-making.”

How To Make Data-Driven Decisions With Practice Performance Data Infographic

Using Healthcare Performance Dashboards to Help With Decision-Making

In pursuing practice improvement through data-driven decision-making, imagine if you could take the sea of past and daily growing data from your practice locations’ innumerable data systems and distill it all down into actionable, one-screen views for better decision-making. Dashboards from Medical Advantage can do just that.

Dashboards are front-end, user-friendly, (single-screen) data tools that help make it easy for you and your practice staff to implement a data-driven decision-making vision and improvement strategy.

Medical Advantage provides you with customized dashboards that provide interactive, easy-to-use tools that aggregate, sift, funnel, and distill data from myriad locations and systems into single-screen graphic reporting that provides truly meaningful, digestible, and actionable information for your medical practice.

This includes data from your Electronic Health Records (EHR) system, practice management system, electronic prescription services (E-prescribing), patient portals, health-related smartphone apps, and more.

These dashboards integrate data from across your organization, coupled with our own wealth of industry-wide healthcare data.

In addition, Medical Advantage can help you reach your practice improvement goals with our team of industry leading-edge data analytics professionals. Our customization and support services include assessment of current tools (current reporting inventory, data capabilities, and IT infrastructure); analytics dashboards solutions featuring automatic data visualization solutions for healthcare administration, EHR, population health, risk adjustment, and quality gaps; data integration, extraction, and exchange; predictive modeling; and much more.

Medical Advantage Can Help You Implement Data-Driven Decision-Making and Dashboards

Medical Advantage, with our 25+ years of in-practice experience in profitability optimization – together with the overall resources of the TDC Group of which we are a member (a $6B entity serving over 100,000 healthcare providers and organizations as the nation’s largest provider of Insurance, Risk Management, and Healthcare Practice Improvement Solutions) – can help your organization achieve peak efficiency, survivability, growth, and profitability by implementing healthcare dashboards.

About Medical Advantage

Medical Advantage is a mid-sized, national medical consulting firm, with over 25 years of experience in helping medical practices solve an array of operational, financial, and Quality of Care challenges. We are an innovator within the TDC Group of companies (TDC Group) for maximizing health plan and physician clinical and financial performance in value-based contracting.

Medical Advantage’s hands-on, value-based healthcare, electronic health record (EHR), dashboards, and telehealth consulting services provide practices, health plans, and delivery systems of all sizes with customized, actionable solutions to decrease the cost of care and improve quality. The Medical Advantage mission is to simplify the delivery of efficient, high-quality healthcare.


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