Healthcare organizations face constant pressure to deliver better care and results at a lower cost. To achieve that goal, data must be collected, analyzed, and used to drive informed decisions.
Data management is a key component in assuring that patients receive proper care and treatment. The need for data management in the healthcare industry is increasing exponentially as the number of user devices and information systems continues to rise.
Effective and efficient data management will improve patient care by making healthcare records available quicker, reducing medical errors, and driving cost savings.
What is healthcare data management?
Healthcare data management is the process of tracking and managing the flow of data between all affiliated departments in a healthcare organization.
It includes the collection of data, the transfer of that data, and the storage and/or disposal of the data when no longer needed. It is a blend of IT and management disciplines that must work together in order to achieve optimal results.
How does data management affect patient care?
Data management ensures that all information is in the hands of the right people at the right time. This may seem like a simple concept, but in practise, it can be challenging.
For example, if a doctor is working with a patient’s medical history, but that information is stored in a computer system that can’t share that data with other caregivers in the medical team, it causes delays while permission is requested, and further issues can arise before the doctor is able to assist their patient.
When data is missing or out of sync, it impacts the critical relationships between clinicians and patients.
Healthcare data management challenges
Every organization has unique challenges when it comes to implementing a data management program. Many healthcare organizations struggle with a lack of standardization across disparate systems and data sources.
By creating a single source of data, you can increase the accuracy of data analysis and reduce the risk of medical errors. However, without a standard system, data is often fragmented and difficult to access.
By improving your data management system, you can increase the consistency of patient data across your organization and improve the timeliness of health information.
Benefits of effective health data management
Efficient and effective data management is essential to improving the quality of care and driving cost savings. Accurate data on patient demographics, conditions, treatments, outcomes, and costs enables healthcare organizations to deliver better care and drive cost savings.
For example, if you have better data on the types of treatments that are most effective for a specific condition, then you can prescribe those treatments more frequently with less risk to patients.
Best practises for data management require a multi-disciplinary approach among clinicians, administrative staff, IT specialists, and data analysts.
By investing in an initiative that streamlines your data flow, you can ensure that consistent information is accessible across your organization. By automating data collection processes, you can reduce the burden of data entry on your clinicians, while increasing the availability of clinical data across your entire organization.
Improved data management can also help to reduce the risk of medical errors, increase the accuracy of data analysis, improve the efficiency of your billing processes, and identify areas for improvement, so that you can form a thorough understanding of each patient’s care and outcomes.
Reducing medical errors
By collecting more consistent data, you can reduce the risk of making mistakes in your data analysis. Integrating data from disparate sources can improve the accuracy of clinical decisions, which then reduces the risk of medical errors.
Improved data management can also help to reduce the amount of time it takes to diagnose and treat patients. When the number of steps between the information source and the patient are reduced, you can lessen the probability of human errors, like misdiagnosis or improper treatment.
Risk management and patient care
Effective data management can help reduce risks that could affect patient care, such as the risk of unintended harm. Similar to conducting a risk analysis for a medication, a risk analysis can help organizations identify, prioritize, and mitigate risks that could negatively affect patient safety.
A risk analysis can help reduce the number of surgical complications, unnecessary re-hospitalization, and other risks that could have a significant impact on patient care.
Unifying healthcare data management through EHR
It’s estimated that up to 80% of data in a healthcare organization is unstructured and not easily accessible. Electronic health records (EHR) enable organizations to unify their data management efforts by providing a single source of information. It also helps healthcare organizations standardize their data so that it can be easily accessed and used across the organization.
Unifying data management efforts can help reduce the risk of data loss by ensuring that all of your data is stored in a single, centralized system.
Implement better data management into your routine
Healthcare organizations are tasked with providing a continuum of care to their patients. Implementing a data management program can help healthcare organizations to increase their efficiency and improve the quality of care.
The data management specialists at Everconnect can help you develop, implement, and manage data management in your healthcare organization so you can provide faster, better care for your patients.