Data-Driven Decisions: Using The Right Numbers To Manage Your Practice

Remember when medical records switched from paper to digital copies? As technology has advanced, there has been a shift in how these digital records are used.

It’s no longer just about storing patient data. It’s about using it. The ultimate goal is to integrate this data into your entire practice, from purchasing supplies to providing patient care. 

The Healthy Planet Data Warehouse offered by Children’s Health Network helps physicians make strategic decisions.

Healthy Planet: A Dose Of Preventative Medicine In Patient Care

This tool is a platform for collecting patient data from a variety of sources, such as electronic health records or pharmacies. The program gives physicians a centralized set of data to:

  • Understand the needs of their patient population
  • Address gaps in care
  • Learn more about costs in order to better manage resources, like vaccines
  • Improve population health

Example: Patterns In Diabetes Care

Consider children with uncontrolled diabetes who find themselves in the emergency room several times a month.

With Healthy Planet, physicians can examine their health records and treatment history, and compare them to those of other diabetic children who rarely have diabetes-related emergencies. This might reveal patterns in those who need emergency services.

For example, if their parents have received little education about the roots of uncontrolled diabetes, the physician might implement parent education programs every 6 months as a new standard of care.

A 360-Degree View Of The Patient’s Health

Healthy Planet offers comprehensive data on patient demographics and population health trends, including:

  • Standard treatments given for various illnesses
  • Patient satisfaction scores
  • Vaccine prevalence in various patient populations

Looking Beyond The Child’s Own Home

This tool also allows providers to look at social determinants of health, from whether children have been abused to the types of resources available to them, such as social service agencies.

As any pediatrician knows, this type of information is critical for holistic care and preventative medicine—two key components of value-based care contracts.

A 2015 article from the Kaiser Family Foundation even reported that together, both individual behavior and social/environmental factors have a greater impact on health outcomes such as premature death than healthcare does.1

patient care

Optimizing Care, Saving Costs: The Win-Win Scenario

The information provided by Healthy Planet has other benefits as well, including:

  • A tool for evaluation—With patient data clearly laid out, it’s easier to review outcomes and determine whether treatment protocols are effective.
  • Reduced costs—Since the data allows physicians to focus on prevention and improved health outcomes, long-term costs can decrease (e.g., fewer emergency room visits and surgeries).

Keep following CHN’s newsletter to learn more about how these data tools provide financial benefits and improve patient care.

1 Kaiser Family Foundation (November 2015)

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