Practice management software typically allows clinics to analyze their patient data.
Data analytics allow you to look for trends and helps you interpret your findings. Many practices, though, do not use software analytics features and do not bother learning how to use interpretations of their patient data.
Patient records can provide useful information that may inform clinical and business decisions at your practice, but in order to maximize your use of analytical tools, you will need to understand how to properly deploy them and benefit the most from the conclusions you draw. ¹
Learning more about analytics and using your software’s analytical capabilities can help your clinic and inform your decisions. Investing time and resources into analytics may very well be worthwhile for your practice.
Reasons practices neglect analytics
Early on, EHR and practice management systems were often designed to resemble paper records as much as possible rather than allow users to examine data for trends and interpretations. According to one survey, 11 percent of medical practices said they do not use analytics and only 31 percent said they use analytical tools optimally. One in twenty practices outsource their analytics to a vendor, preferring not to use these resources themselves. ¹
Programs that do include analytics features often received these features later in the software’s development or after official release.
Some vendors added analytics features later rather than design their systems for analytics from the start. ¹
How analytics benefit your practice
By analyzing your data, you can find ways to improve patient diagnosis and treatment by looking at historical trends. You can examine demographic information and look at how your patient population changes over time. The time spent in your workflow on each part of the patient encounter can be studied and understood.
From there, you can begin making meaningful changes to the business side of your clinic. These adjustments can be relevant to how you manage your relationships to vendors, partners, and patients. You can also find ways to improve your workflow or boost productivity in your office. ¹ ²
These are just a few areas where analytics can help: ²
Performance—Once you know what your analytical data says, you can begin comparing your clinic’s performance and results with other practices. Analytics help you have meaningful conversations about your clinical and business strategies.
Efficiency—You can look at how your time and resources are being used. Is your clinic efficiently helping patients, or do you need to change something about your workflow? Doctors can look for ways to more effectively use their time.
Patient experience—Analytics help you look at how your practice is serving patients. If your patients are not receiving optimal care, analytical tools can help you identify the problem.
Financial data—By looking at how your practice invests financially in patient treatment, you can make your spending more efficient and productive. You want your investments in the clinic to benefit your patients, so this information can help you make financial decisions that are in the best interest of your patient base.
There are other benefits to using analytical tools, depending on the data you use and the types of analysis your software can help with. If you want to learn more about the built-in analytics features of your software, your vendor may be able to help.
Empower your decisions with analytics
When you use the analytical tools provided by your vendor, you may find significant benefits for your clinic. Analytics can help you make informed, educated decisions about your practice and your patients. These tools can help you offer better patient care to more people. By learning how to use these features, you can empower better decisions and improve your practice’s productivity.
- Miliard, M. “Some practices still don’t run analytics on EHR data.” Healthcare IT News. http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/some-practices-still-dont-run-analytics-ehr-data. Published: April 2017. Accessed: May 2017.
- O’Connor, S. “5 EHR Data Analytics You Aren’t Paying Attention To.” Advanced Data Systems Corporation Blog. http://healthcare.adsc.com/blog/5-ehr-data-analytics-you-arent-paying-attention-to. Published: October 2015. Accessed: May 2017.