4 Ways Data Analytics in Healthcare Can Help Healthcare Administrators Work More Effectively

Data as a concept can be a little mysterious for people who don’t use it regularly. We all know about Big Data. How it’s here whether we like it or not, and how it’s made our YouTube ads a whole lot more specific than they used to be.

But in the hospital setting, data saves lives. In this article, we look at how people with hospital administrator careers are using data to change the way hospitals are run.

What is Data-Driven Decision Making?

Data-driven decision-making isn’t about having algorithms take the helm at your hospital. It’s more about speeding up a process that was already in place. Good administrators have always led by learning. With data, it’s simply easier to understand what has been learned.

The numbers paint a much clearer picture than intuition ever could. You might suspect, for example, that last year your cardiovascular services lagged behind their potential. A look at the numbers will tell you how much they lagged, and maybe even help answer the question of why. It’s not perfect. Certainly, it isn’t magic. But for administrators that want to do their job as well as they can, it is transformative.

 Understanding the Hospital

From a strictly administrative perspective, data can make it easier to understand, and therefore effectively run the hospital. Here’s a situation that many hospitals are currently facing: high turnover rates. Skeleton crews. Five people doing the work of ten.

You’ve heard about this, of course. Nursing shortages. The great resignation as some call it. The hospital administrator might not be responsible for solving this crisis, but they will need to know how to work with it.

When you can only do so much, how do you direct your resources? Data can help shine a light on where the greatest sources of need are. Using that information, administrators can make the most of what they have, helping to guarantee a higher impact.

This was particularly impactful during the height of the pandemic. There weren’t nearly enough hospital beds. Ventilators? PPE? Hand sanitizer, for goodness sake! Healthcare systems just didn’t have these things, at least not in a serviceable quantity.

It took a tremendous level of ingenuity to keep things running the way they needed to. And therein lies the magic of data. The numbers couldn’t magically summon more resources, but they could help administrators decide how to use them.

Of course, data doesn’t need a pandemic to be useful. Administrators can also use the numbers for smaller things. How much ink and toner should we order? What do our utility bills look like relative to historical numbers? Nuts and bolts stuff that, while not as urgent or desperate as the pandemic felt, are critical to keeping the hospital effective.

 Understanding the Community

Hospitals may mostly look the same from the outside, but to be truly effective they need to cultivate the care they provide specifically to the needs of the community. So many variables can crop up that create sweeping health impacts for most or all people living in a geographical area.

Maybe there is a paper mill that has negatively impacted the quality of drinking water. Or lead pipes that shed harmful materials. A factory polluting the air, etc.

It doesn’t even need to be a scandalous issue. Some communities struggle more with diabetes or obesity. Others have exorbitant rates of vaccine hesitancy. Then there is the rural plight. Hospitals that service enormous geographical locations.

What percent of people are participating in preventative care? Is anything at all being done to alleviate the transportation-induced struggle of healthcare?

In other words, there are a million questions that data can answer. Using the numbers, an astute administrator can help shape a hospital into exactly what the community needs it to be.

 Forecasting the Future

Data is good but it isn’t magic. Analytic-produced forecasting is kind of like the weather report. Good enough to make plans by but also highly subject to change. Nevertheless, looking back into the past helps administrators see patterns that can directly influence their behavior in the future.

Using hospital records, they can determine what services need the most attention. Where they should channel their efforts to deliver the highest possible level of care.

 Contextualizing the Past

Finally, data is a great way to perform a highly nuanced post-mortem on the previous year. What was done well? What wasn’t? The numbers don’t lie. Administrators can help identify issues within the hospital by holding the microscope up to the past.

In fact, this is data’s cleanest and most dependable application. Using it to make decisions for the future is fine — good even — but it will always be done under a cloud of uncertainty. When it comes to reviewing the past, the skies are clear. You see everything, and you learn from it.


With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

$16M: The Record Breaking Cost of a Data Breach

Anthem is being held accountable, to the tune of a record breaking $16,000,000, for cyber attacks that compromised protected health information.

Anthem is being held accountable, to the tune of a record breaking $16,000,000, for cyber attacks that compromised protected health information in the largest health data breach in U.S. history.

The staggering payment, which will be made to the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, is to settle HIPAA violations that results after a series of cyberattacks led to close to 79 million people having their health data stolen. This is the largest settlement related to a data breach, towering over the previous high of $5.5M.

Indianapolis-based Anthem, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is one of the largest healthcare entities and the nation’s second-largest health insurer, providing coverage to one in eight Americans through its health plans, making it a desirable target for hackers the world over.

“Anthem takes the security of its data and the personal information of consumers very seriously,” Anthem said in a statement released on Monday. “We have cooperated with [the government] throughout their review and have now reached a mutually acceptable resolution.”

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Health Data Breaches Are on the Rise

Healthcare data breaches are trending upward, rising from 199 reported incidents in 2010 to 344 reported incidents in 2017.

A research letter, penned by Thomas H. McCoy Jr, MD and Roy H. Perlis, MD, MSc and published this month by the American Medical Association, took an in-depth look at reported healthcare data breaches from 2010 through 2017 and found breaches are on the rise, while postulating that the ongoing transition to EHRs may increase such breaches.

The authors of the letter analyzed all data breaches occurring between January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2017 that were reported to the Office of Civil Rights at the US Department of Health and Human Services, as is mandatory under the 1999 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. Trends and types of breaches were observed across three types of reported categories, including those taking place at healthcare providers, at health plans, and at businesses associated with healthcare.

The analysis revealed that 2,149 breaches took place during the seven-year period, involving a total of 176.4 million patient records. From 2010 through 2017, it was found that the total number of breaches increased every year except for 2015, starting at 199 reported breaches in 2010 and ending with 344 reported breaches in 2017.

It was found that the most common type of breach was paper or film, accounting for 24% of total reported breaches, comprising a total of 3.4 million breached health records. However, tech-related breaches are on the rise, with the most popular form of breach shifting from laptop or paper or film to network server and email by 2017.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

10 Stubborn Cybersecurity Myths, Busted

As common half-truths and misperceptions plague information security, we separate truth from fiction and outline steps to take in order to make your healthcare institution safer.

from HealthcareITNews

The state of healthcare cybersecurity is bad enough without a host of inaccurate information floating around the industry. Hackers honed in on healthcare’s technology weaknesses in 2016, pummeling the industry with massive spear phishing campaigns and ransomware attacks. And 2017 has been even worse.

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Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Natural Disasters Make Strong Case for EHRs

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and the devastation they have brought with them, serve as glaring reminders for how beneficial EHRs can be in a crisis. Is your hospital prepared?

Though the implementation of electronic health records has come with its problems and has had its share of critics in our hospitals and health systems, many studies have highlighted their benefits, including improved access to and organization of patient data, providing the ability to make more timely decisions regarding care, improved communication and care coordination, a reduction in clerical tasks, and more.

However, one benefit of EHRs that is often overlooked is how invaluable they can be when disasters strike. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s recent devastation of the greater Houston, Texas area and Hurricane Irma’s potentially imminent destruction of Florida, it is certainly a point worth making.

Is your hospital ready to face Mother Nature’s wrath? If not, Primary Protection: Enhancing Health Care Resilience for a Changing Climate, a toolkit from the Department of Health and Human Services, provides an in-depth guide for how to create sustainable and resilient hospitals in the face of climate change and natural disasters.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

IT Expenses Per Physician Continue to Rise to Nearly $19,000

IT expenses per physician each year have increased $2K to $4K over the last year, leaving total IT expenses per physician between $14K to $19K.

from Healthcare Informatics

Information technology (IT) expenses for physician practices are on a slow and steady rise for most practices, and last year, physician-owned practices spent between nearly $2,000 to $4,000 more per FTE physician on IT operating expenses than they did the prior year, according to a recent Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) survey.

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Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

5 Cybersecurity Threats to Know About Right Now

The Petya ransomware attack is only one of the five major issues hospital IT, privacy, and compliance pros should understand this month.

from HealthcareITNews

Hackers and cybercriminals continued tapping into new techniques last month to essentially break into IT networks, if not cripple some of those. It’s not just Petya following in WannaCry’s footsteps, either. But since that ransomware turned wiper malware certainly grabbed the spotlight, it took the top slot in HIMSS roster of threat, vulnerability and mitigation issues in the June 2017 Healthcare and Cross-Sector Cybersecurity Report.

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Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Existing Health IT Is Meant to Help. Too Bad It Doesn’t

The American Association of Family Physicians says that needs to change, and points to the kind of technology that actually enables better care.

from HealthcareITNews

It’s a hard reality: Technologies that hospitals are using today do not adequately support the health of Americans, according to the American Association of Family Physicians.

“We believe that new types of information and new kinds of technology are needed,” AAFP wrote in the Annals of Family Medicine. “Technology has great potential to help foster connections and relationships among healthcare professionals, individuals, and communities, and to be a catalyst instead of the barrier it frequently is today.”

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Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for 2017

A new report says poor information management and faulty CDS implementation pose risks to patients.

from HealthcareITNews

Health information technology holds enormous potential for improving patient safety, but only when implemented and used correctly. A new study from ECRI Institute spotlights EHR information management practices and clinical decision support as two areas of particular concern.

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Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Healthcare Remains a Ripe Target for Cybercriminals

Forrester, a research and consulting firm, offers healthcare organizations cybersecurity guidance as 2017 shapes up to be an uncertain year.

from Healthcare IT News

As most everyone in healthcare will remember, health insurer Anthem suffered a data breach in 2015 that affected as many as 80 million patients. While healthcare did not witness a breach of that scale in 2016, numerous hospitals fell victim to ransomware attacks, and healthcare security budgets continued to lag behind those of other industries, according to Forrester Research.

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Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.