Published on September 12, 2016
Healthcare is changing – rapidly.
Telemedicine, drug pricing, and hospital system consolidation – it’s enough to make your head spin. When the market gets complicated, sometimes it’s best to go back to basics – to remember what is really important about your market and your healthcare consumers.
Know your Business
But there’s more to it — there’s an extraordinary amount of information that you can use, including electronic health records, community data, public health information, and more. Healthcare is a service – but it also needs to make enough money to offset the costs of offering that service. So what does it mean to go ‘back to basics’?
Five things that you need to know:
- Who makes up your customer base?
- Where do your revenues come from, and are they at risk?
- Do you have the right resources for your market?
- Which services are most critical for you and your customers?
- How will the needs of your customers change?
Some of these you may already think you know. But if you’re just using your own clinical and encounter data to answer the questions, you’re only getting part of the story. Knowing your business is about understanding the community whom you serve, and how their needs will change in the future. Population growth, community health needs, and gaps in service – you won’t find this information in your patient health records.
A survey of healthcare IT leaders found that 51% of them believe the most significant barrier to hospital data analytics is not knowing what data to collect. And even with the right data, few people know what to look for when analyzing it.
By merging clinical data with other types of data, it’s possible to fill in the missing information to help answer the five questions above. The breadth of data – merging of many different types, including social, environmental, behavioral, economic, consumer and demographic – is where you see a complete picture emerge.