Bridging Data and Clinical Context is Key to Improving Patient Care and Operational Efficiency

Gathering and organizing the vast level of data available to hospitals and health systems in ways that efficiently and effectively facilitate patient care can be challenging. Relevant data is often spread across multiple information systems, and the clinicians who know which pieces of information are useful are frequently in partial or total knowledge silos from the analysts who know where to get that information.

Breaking down these knowledge silos can help in developing powerful tools that surface timely and actionable information which can increase a clinical team’s ability to do their work efficiently.  When integrated thoughtfully with existing clinical workflows, such tools can make a clinician’s job easier and improve the level of patient care.

One way to remove this knowledge barrier is to develop a patient-level, action-item list.  Acting as a bridge has allowed us to work collaboratively with clients to develop tools that deliver a concise, timely, and actionable list of patients who warrant attention, such as those with outstanding discharge orders or unusually long inpatient lengths of stay. In addition, filter settings for these patients are highly configurable, allowing different groups of stakeholders to customize patient lists to sensibly facilitate their work.

For example, morning bed huddle teams can get a list of patients with upcoming or overdue discharges, specific to the unit(s) each team works in.  This helps with discharge planning and facilitates freeing up beds earlier in the day, which reduces wait times and increases safety for patients waiting for beds.  This is a win-win-win for patients, clinical staff, and hospital administrators alike.

So while it is important to for hospitals and health systems to take advantage of the vast amounts of data that is readily available through their IT investments, it’s equally important to ensure that the data is vetted within a clinical context so that the end result is a strong, decision-support set of tools that deliver clear and timely actionable insights.