Andy De, Global Managing Director and General Manager for Healthcare and Life Sciences at Tableau

One aspect of the ongoing push for better healthcare delivery comes in the form of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO). ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers responsible for ensuring population health management (PHM). They work together and accept collective accountability for the cost and quality of care delivered to their population of patients.

While the PHM concept of working together to improve care at the lowest cost is ideal, new standards of operation can be understandably daunting to execute. PHM is still very much in its infancy and demands radical re-thinking of the status quo. Put another way, it must be built on a holistic and collaborative approach across organization, culture, incentives and reimbursements, business models, people, processes and IT.

How can your organization embrace a value-based care model and integrate population health management into process, work culture and technology systems? Data of course plays an important role in understanding population health … but it can be difficult to manage in the wake of an explosion of sources. There are electronic health records, medical devices, financial files, hospital information systems, practice management systems and more to analyze and report.

Meanwhile, old healthcare analytics systems have led to inefficient report factory models and simply aren’t meeting the needs of many healthcare provider organizations today. In the wake of outdated technology and exploding data sources, old systems fail to provide a consistent picture of population health to doctors, business analysts and more.

Self-service analytics can play a key role in fixing this problem. It enables population health management by letting individual users have easy access to data, and offers them the freedom ask and answer their questions without support. This frees up IT to focus on maintaining tech infrastructure, helps provide a single source of truth across the organization and helps key decision-makers in organizations better understand everything from costs to patient outcomes.

That’s what happened at Providence Health, the second largest healthcare system in the U.S., for example. Providence implemented a self-service analytics platfgorm called Vantage for better operational analytic and reporting. The Vantage Platform offers a portfolio of operational dashboards built with data drawn from EPIC, Lawson, Press Ganey and other hospital systems, and delivers to 40 interactive, visual reports across more than 20,000 self-service users.

The reports are standardized across financial, operational, supply chain and clinical functions (including physician scorecards) to enable executives to monitor the financial health of the enterprise, operational supply chain efficiencies and benchmark physician utilization and performance. And the reports have had a tangible impact.

For starters, self-service analytics at Providence Health enabled high adoption rates of Vantage (15-20% per month), which in turn increased physician productivity by 8% in 12 months.

Vantage also resulted in a measurable impact on patient outcomes. As Meghan Brandabur, Program Administrator for Health Intelligence at Providence Health put it: “If our doctors don’t have the data, how are they going to change things? They need to know what patients need to be screened. We started out showing them the metrics, and then they wanted more. We can give them patient detail reporting for every physician who wants to look.”

The result? Providence saw a decrease in 30-day patient re-admission rates, while cancer screening composite metrics saw over a 100% improvement in less than a year.

And this is just one example of the impact that self-service analytics can have when it comes to population health management. No matter what aspect of the health care system your organization is focused on improving, you can’t put a price on access and understanding.

Tableau offers a revolutionary new approach to self-service data discovery for healthcare analytics. With easy-to-use, drag-and-drop technology, you’ll quickly connect to, visualize, share, and report on all of your healthcare data, with a seamless experience from the PC to the iPad. With proven deployment methodology, Tableau solutions generate fast, visual, self-service dashboards with no programming skills required. See the impact Tableau can have on your organization by starting a free trial.