Data Rich, Insight Poor
HME providers can collect an infinite pool of data, but they need tools that let them identify trends and see how to improve care.
- By Trish Nettleship
- Dec 08, 2022
In today’s rapidly shifting healthcare ecosystem, it’s easy to feel inundated with data. In fact, a recent report states that from 2010-2020, the amount of data created, captured, copied, and consumed in the world increased from 1.2 trillion gigabytes to 59 trillion gigabytes, an almost 5,000 percent growth.
Fortunately, the human brain is wired to categorically manage the information overload by prioritizing what’s important, analyzing what’s necessary and purging what’s no longer needed. Healthcare organizations, however, are in a position that requires a more systematic approach to processing excess data to sustain a competitive advantage.
As the CMO of Brightree, I use data sources to unlock key learnings as to how our buyers behave — this intel aids us in creating a more favorable customer experience across the board. But while data is a critical component of cross-functional decision-making that drives marketing value, the information is only useful once it’s been analyzed and compounded into actionable insights.
An added disadvantage to hoarding raw data without analytics is the simple fact that, at some point, it becomes outdated or inaccurate. And because acquired data can accumulate quickly and result in an oversupply of unsorted information, the workload falls on the staff, leading to burnout, staffing shortages and ultimately, poor quality patient care. For this reason, our business develops solutions that automatically convert data intelligence into insights, enabling home medical equipment providers to optimize business processes, increase the value they deliver, and help them better serve their patients.
Put Your Data Into Motion
In the last five years, we’ve seen data analytics use streamlined workflows, improve patient-provider communication and correlate data-derived intelligence with seamless integration. However, the role of data analytics in improving patient outcomes and healthcare processes continues to evolve as technology advances. To stay ahead of the curve, HMEs should optimize all mission-critical operations by applying tools that leverage data, apply analytics and boost efficiency and scalability.
For example, our industry generates an exorbitant amount of data each day, but without prescriptive analytics to interpret the information and convert it into actionable clinical and operational intelligence, it’s just a pile of siloed documents. And when HME professionals rely on antiquated systems to track and reference reports containing crucial information, oversights and errors can occur.
It only makes sense to employ the infinite amount of available data and make it work in your favor. Data analytics help solve clinical and operational disparities across the patient care continuum, letting providers and clinicians make assured decisions that improve patient outcomes.
Near Real-Time Matters
While all industries stand to benefit from modernizing their data strategies to save time and money, no sector is more pressed to do so than healthcare. The HME subsystem is built on accuracy and efficiency, and it stretches far beyond medical supply distribution. HME businesses rely on data to inform decisions concerning business operations such as recruitment and retention of staff, patient attrition, and customer satisfaction — but often, the standard operating procedure is “trial and error.” Wouldn’t it be more efficient and cost-effective to gain advanced insights and visibility into supply chain issues or staffing shortages before they occur? Predictive models that let businesses track, anticipate and mitigate potential risks are a vital asset to long-term success.
When HME providers are equipped with near real-time data-driven insights, they’re better prepared to evaluate their business and discover actionable information. Moreover, by implementing tools that provide automatic, near real-time updates, HME providers can make decisions faster, improve productivity, improve patient outcomes, and reduce costs. With on-demand analytics, organizations can always be in the know and focus on business growth drivers rather than spending time pulling individual reports and mashing them together.
Data Is Future-Proof & Drives Change
The opportunities for leveraging data are vast and growing. Emerging applications, such as predictive analytics, have become hugely beneficial to HME businesses by helping them forecast clinical, operational and financial needs. Technology continues to push the healthcare industry forward with data algorithms and machine-learning models designed to help organizations anticipate and prepare for adverse events. From ensuring treatment compliance is well maintained to identifying at-risk patient populations, these tools take preventative measures automatically, easing the burden of identification on providers.
We’ve seen how data supports the optimization of healthcare by improving care quality, enhancing patient engagement, and optimizing existing business processes. With these insights, the organization can intervene sooner and potentially avoid negative outcomes.
Data is one of the most valuable tools a business can acquire, but how the data is put to work is what makes the difference for long-term success. HME businesses are automating more processes than ever before, allowing them to devote more time to activities that contribute to the care and well-being of the patient and the organization overall. And because data is paramount to success, it’s important that organizations apply the available tools and technologies to fully leverage the value of their data.
About the Author
Trish Nettleship is the Chief Marketing Officer at HME software company Brightree (brightree.com), where she leads marketing strategies and plans for new offerings, and drives demand generation and market development for Brightree’s cloud-based post-acute care solutions. She serves as an expert panel member, presenter and moderator on marketing and strategy topics, and can be reached at email@example.com.