April 14, 2024

Health Benefit

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Children’s Hospital Colorado creates analytics resource center

3 min read

Patrick Guffey, chief medical information officer, pediatric and obstetric anesthesiologist and associate professor of anesthesiology at University of Colorado at Children’s Hospital Colorado, and Kerri Webster, vice president and chief analytics officer at Children’s Hospital Colorado, speak at the HIMSS24 annal conference in Orlando Wednesday.

Photo: Jeff Lagasse/Healthcare Finance News

ORLANDO – If there’s a lesson to be learned regarding healthcare analytics, it’s that it pays to have a good handle on the data.

That was the mandate at Children’s Hospital Colorado, which serves children from a seven-state region. This means that shepherding the data to where it needs to go can be a complex process. The hospital’s response to this challenge was to create an analytics resource center with the goal of firming up the organization’s data integrity.

The analytics resource center has led to better decision-making, a more centralized team and a more democratized approach to data, said Kerri Webster, vice president and chief analytics officer at Children’s Hospital Colorado, and Patrick Guffey, chief medical information officer, pediatric and obstetric anesthesiologist, and associate professor of anesthesiology at University of Colorado at Children’s Hospital Colorado. They spoke during the session “Advancing Analytics: How Business Transformation Evolution Leads to Successful Outcomes” at HIMSS24 in Orlando Wednesday.

“We’re very passionate about giving access to the data to the people giving care to our patients,” said Webster.

When she first started at the hospital, there were seven different analytics teams, and content was unmaintained, unmanaged, ungoverned and data was split up between three different warehouses. 

“We needed to transform our culture,” said Webster. “It was a mess. If we’re not going to expand our team and we’re going to deliver data to people right in their hands, we had to think about not doing a transactional approach. That’s not scalable. We really needed to think differently.”

With siloed data sets, the organization needed big-picture thinking, not one-off reports and dashboards.

Project Blue Sky was devised to foster this mindset. Starting with a systematic review of assets within the organization, Children’s Hospital Colorado was able to decrease reporting content by 40%, retired outdated bolt-on reporting tools, streamlined its reporting content, reduced technical debt and eliminated organizational costs.

“First you need quick wins,” said Guffey. “Start with the end in kind. Make your analytics teams your partners. Communicate throughout your organization, sit down with your key partners, and make it visible. Never before with technology has it been so easy to put your data out there.”

Webster said good data governance reduces silos, supports transparency, increases trust in the data and enables appropriate access.

“Physicians can often talk their way out of the data unless you can show the data is rigorously accurate,” she said.

Consolidating data, making it easier to transmit and being able to ensure its integrity has allowed the hospital to eliminate its outdated infrastructure, and is realizing hundreds of thousands of savings annually as a result.

“The work paid off, but there’s still plenty of work to do,” said Guffey.
 

Jeff Lagasse is editor of Healthcare Finance News.
Email: [email protected]
Healthcare Finance News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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