Only 16% said they "have robust clinical and financial data integrated with solid business intelligence and analytical tools" to guide them. Another 67% said they have "some reliable clinical and financial data" that they use to achieve results. And 17% said they currently lack clinical and financial data for improvement.
In a roundtable discussion, healthcare executives talked about how organizations can use data to get results. Jeffrey Limbocker, chief financial officer at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, LA, said such data can be used to measure the impact of cost containment.
"Much of the data, even on the clinical side, that we rely on is often charge-based data, and so a charge entry has to take place and then someone will pull data and rely on it, which creates obvious problems," Limbocker said. "The clinical data that many of us also use consists of chart reviews. Chart reviews are still a fairly standard way to review data as opposed to having a clinical data field in a clinical information system. What you want to do is be able to compare high-quality outcomes with financial outcomes so you can see whether the things you're doing to improve clinical quality or reduce cost are having a positive or negative impact on the other."
And yet, noted roundtable moderator Philip Betbeze, senior leadership editor for HealthLeaders Media, it is difficult to determine the true cost of providing a service and the testing, labor costs, and other costs because there are so many variables involved. "How do you begin to make sense of it?" he asked.