Data Management: Necessary for Success

In a new National Quality Forum report, the necessity of using effective data management tools is outlined as a challenge for most healthcare institutions. However, the report also emphasizes that data management tools are one of the most important ventures for healthcare practitioners. According to the report, “effective data management is necessary for the success of other incentives to enhance care, such as payment programs, as providers need timely information to understand where to improve and track their progress.” Timely and effective data assessment can reveal critical insights into healthcare costs, improving both affordability and quality of care.

The NQF’s report notes that although Electronic Health Record (EHR) adoption is a positive move and will aid in benefiting patients and institutions, practitioners will still need to rely on data traversing other areas of health. A data management tool, as opposed to an EHR, will be one of the only options to collect said health information.

“The most significant and sustained individual and population health improvements occur when healthcare organizations collaborate with community or public health organizations,” the report explains. The collaborative effort between healthcare institutions and public health organizations will only serve to create efficiency and knowledge for a practice, while also assisting in reaching the financial incentives of the ACA.

Healthcare practices must evolve in a constantly shifting climate, and one of the few avenues open to healthcare institutions is the use of fast and all-pervasive data management technology. NQF’s report summarizes the current healthcare attitude and climate perfectly in a single statement: “Overall, there was a desire to move from a retrospective approach of quality metrics and analytics to one that uses real-time data to identify potential challenges and gauge progress.”

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