EHRs have made data collection easier than ever, but does an increase in quality measures equate to greater value for patients? We explore how data can be used to positively shape and influence our relationships with patients across the care continuum. In the end, what gets measured is what receives attention.  

The final day of Nurses Week celebrated on Monday also marked Florence Nightingale’s birthday. As the founder of modern nursing, Nightingale was passionate about the value of nursing, including the idea of data analysis.

Now more than 100 years since her advocacy for such disease prevention, again we are examining our standards of care and how they may be improved through data.

Now more than ever, more and more data on each patient has the potential to be captured. As processes become more streamlined for facilitating this data collection, a question remains, however: in our aim to deliver excellent, patient-centered care, are we getting lost in all the measurements—in data for the sake of data?

When utilized for patient involvement, more data should not equate to more “noise”

High value care—that which has continuous improvement, and is personalized—requires data by definition in order to measure whether individuals and population outcomes are in fact high value. It’s true that what we measure over time is what’s critical, and when we have better ability to measure, in turn we will see more optimal and better indicators as a result.  

Not all data is created equal

Much of our new and increased data for clinicians must be organized if we want it to truly achieve high value care. This is the only way to utilize data to its full potential for continuous improvement.

Take for example Patient Generated Health Data. This category of data is critical to the clinician’s complete assessment of the patient: their health IQ, self-efficacy, and motivation. These, in turn, are the real drivers of creating a patient that can be fully invested in her own care process.

We’ve examined what it means to be an engaged patient before, and our position remains the same: engaged patients are those who have the tools, know-how, and motivation to be involved in their health outcome.

AI (Artificial Intelligence) measurement of health velocity enables this to happen by serving as another form of information, one that’s essential to incorporate in order to build an effective, proactive workflow. Yet another: the measurement of the highest value data indicators and interventions by the care team aimed at reversing disease. Together, when utilized appropriately, data-backed decision making improves care, recognizes individual patient preferences, improves physician efficiency, and it improves over time.

There is power in information, and using it effectively goes far beyond merely “checking boxes” to make sure we are in compliance.

Instead of “provider-centered data,” we must work for relationship-driven outcomes

Providers are the real leaders in a patient’s journey through the healthcare system.

AI enables us to better see and utilize context—a missing component in many of the purely data-driven platforms that exist today. To do this, it requires a person-by-person approach and a holistic analysis of the critical connection between provider and patient.

Providers are the ones creating and shaping the relationship with patients. Surely then, health data that’s utilized appropriately would not take away from the patient’s needs, the patient’s values, or their actual history or current behaviors. Rather, recognizing patients as partners, more robust information provides rich, ongoing context so that we can be more responsive than ever.

Data applied in this individualized, progressive manner benefits from patient values and underlying drivers of their behavior (and health).

With this in mind, we’re able to ensure patient-centered, outcome-oriented, high quality care that does the opposite of “adding to the clutter.”