For those working in healthcare administration roles, making critical decisions is one of the most important parts of the job. The decisions that healthcare administrators make will have an impact on the lives of scores of patients and employees, not to mention the medical organization they work for itself.
Given the high-stakes nature of decision-making in healthcare administration, many healthcare organizations have begun to look to data to help inform their decision-making process. Understanding the benefits that data can offer leaders in healthcare can allow one to gain a more nuanced understanding of how impactful this shift in healthcare administration has the potential to be.
Here is how and why organizations are using data to make educated decisions in healthcare administration.
Different Ways Healthcare Administrators Use Data to Inform Decision-Making
Healthcare administrators are responsible for guiding their employees and ensuring that patients being treated at their facilities are receiving the best care possible. On any given day, healthcare administrators will likely have to make many decisions that will have a lasting impact on the organization and the lives of the people involved with it.
To improve the decision-making process, healthcare administrators are beginning to depend on data to help them come to insightful and accurate solutions to various problems. The ways they analyze data sets differ depending on the types of information they are looking to gain. To understand the dramatically positive impact of data-driven decision-making on healthcare administrators, it can be useful to understand these varying methods healthcare organizations can use to analyze data and gain insights.
- Descriptive Analytics: This method of data analysis allows healthcare administrators to learn more about their patients and the ways they act. By analyzing large sets of patient-related data — such as how frequently they have check-ups, where they live, and their responsiveness to emails — insights can be discovered that offer healthcare administrators the ability to accurately predict how to serve and market to these patients.
- Diagnostic Analytics: This advanced method of data analysis utilizes AI technology to dig deeper into data to discover the underlying causes behind why an organization produces the outcomes that it does. In the case of healthcare administration, this method can be used to improve business processes within medical facilities and provide clarity around why their organizations are doing good or bad in certain areas.
- Predictive Analytics: This complex method uses large data sets to discover the probability of certain outcomes. It can be applied to many different areas and in the context of healthcare, it is used to predict a variety of things ranging from patients’ unique risks for developing certain diseases to a facility’s ability to handle a pandemic.
- Prescriptive Analytics: This method is meant to help individuals and organizations identify the best possible ways to solve specific problems. For healthcare administrators, this method can help create plans for dealing with a variety of healthcare-related challenges.
Why Healthcare Administrators Rely on Data to Make Decisions
As has been noted, healthcare administrators have the overwhelming task of having to make countless decisions on a consistent basis that will have a dramatic impact on the lives of others. While many professionals in these roles are amazing at what they do, the sad reality is that mistakes can be made by anyone.
A common phenomenon that occurs in individuals who must make an enormous amount of decisions on a consistent basis is called decision fatigue. This mental ailment is characterized by a decrease in cognitive function when it comes to making decisions, which can result in poor decisions being made. For healthcare administrators, bad decisions can have a significantly negative impact on not only the employees they manage but the patients being treated at their facilities.
As one can imagine, healthcare administrators are committed to doing anything they can to make good, thoughtful decisions on a regular basis. By looking to data, healthcare administrators are offered the chance to avoid the pitfalls caused by decision fatigue while also being able to have confidence in their decision-making process.
The Benefits of Data-Driven Decision-Making in Healthcare Administration
For healthcare administrators, utilizing data to glean insights that inform decision-making can make a huge impact on their ability to consistently make effective decisions. Here are some of the main benefits healthcare administrators experience as a result of using data.
Data Increases the Ability to Treat Patients Effectively
By drawing upon data, healthcare professionals can provide care and treatments to their patients with greater efficacy. This is because data can provide insights about things such as symptoms that may indicate certain illnesses along with other information about which treatments have gleaned the best results for certain types of patients.
Data Makes Medical Facilities More Efficient
In most sizeable healthcare facilities, there are typically many things happening simultaneously every single day. From scheduling shifts for healthcare workers to ensuring that patients don’t have to wait too long to be seen by a physician, many decisions used to require someone to coordinate countless people and events. With data, much of this time-consuming work can be streamlined, freeing up more time and energy for healthcare administrators to focus on more pressing matters.
Data Allows Decisions to Be Made with Confidence
While healthcare administrators do their best to be extremely well-informed on the areas in which they have to make decisions, it can sometimes be impossible to have such a vast expanse of specialized knowledge. Data provides clear insights that can provide healthcare administrators with more confidence about the decisions they make, as they are making educated guesses as a result of insights, they’ve gleaned from enormous data sets.
Data-Driven Decision-Making Unites Organizations
In any type of organization, employees may sometimes feel that those in leadership positions are making bad decisions. As a result, employees may feel less trust in their organization while also being less motivated to help their employers reach their organizational goals.
Unfortunately, healthcare organizations are no different and a lack of engagement by employees can make it difficult for healthcare administrators to reach their goals. By utilizing data to inform decision-making, employees will be assured that their organization’s goals are reasonable, making them more likely to work towards helping their administrations hit their organizational milestones.
Data Is Transforming Healthcare Administration
The utilization of data to inform decision-making is quickly transforming the way healthcare administrators are able to guide their organizations. By being able to make effective decisions more consistently, healthcare administrators are able to help their organizations improve in countless ways ranging from offering better care to making their processes more efficient.
As data analysis evolves, it is likely that healthcare administrators will be able to make even more informed and accurate decisions, making healthcare more effective and beneficial to society at large.