It’s not enough to just have or create data – it needs to be translated into timely, relevant and actionable information. By using analytics tools that leverage, share and highlight the value of laboratory data, laboratory managers take a critical seat in the discussions on where healthcare is headed.
Current laboratory information systems (LIS) pose significant challenges to accessing, analyzing, and sharing the data required to drive day-to-day processes and operational improvement within the laboratory. Accessing this information is frequently described as being “burdensome” or “cumbersome”. Due to this, key decision makers often stop asking for information and are limited to making decisions based on instinct, rather than on data.
Do you face some of these challenges?
Lab management and operations staff require quick and easy access to information in order to take corrective action. However, IT and LIS teams are the only staff able to run reports because current complicated reporting solutions require knowledge of SQL and the underlying database structure. As a result, the entire operational team ends up relying on these teams, which often have other priorities. By the time management receives this information, it is often too late to take corrective action.
IT teams aren’t always fully aware of the functional needs of the request. Thus, there is significant back-and-forth communication needed to get to the exact detail the requestor is looking for. This leads to wasted resources on both the functional teams and already constrained IT teams.
Lack of Drill-Down & Root-Cause Analyses:
Data is usually provided to management and operational staff in a format that is not actionable nor shareable. Many systems provide static reports with limited data manipulation capability available to the end user. There is no ability to drill down on areas of risk or opportunity to help focus on the information that matters most and take action quickly. Users end up spending a significant amount of additional time getting to the root cause of the issue, rather than being enabled to take action.
Current reporting systems are limited in the number of data sources they provide. The systems are usually tied directly to the LIS and do not have the ability to bring information from other systems such as Pathology, Payroll, Materials Management, Billing, etc. Today, lab leaders need a comprehensive view of the laboratory, but are limited to managing information from each system in a piecemeal fashion.
Poor Visualization of the Data:
Constituents such as physician customers, hospital departments, the executive team, board of directors, etc. prefer easy-to-read graphs/dashboards representing key performance indicators. A visual representation enables these key constituents to quickly identify a trend or relationship. However, presenting analyses in a visually aesthetic and relevant manner with today’s business intelligence (BI) systems is manual and challenging. Management ends up spending considerable time trying to get the data into a format that is presentation ready and shareable.
Impact on Production:
Finally, current BI tools extract data directly from production LIS servers that are not built for analytics on an ad hoc basis. Thus, it takes a significant amount of time to run reports. Often, a report runs for 24 hours, ending with notification of an error in the report logic. This is unacceptable in the dynamic and fast-paced laboratories of today.
These challenges & limitations not only waste a significant amount of time from valuable operational and IT resources, they also limit the organization’s ability to get detailed, actionable, and timely information which are critical to day-to-day operations and performance improvement.
To learn how Viewics’ business intelligence and analytics solutions are enabling laboratories to generate ad-hoc analyses with no day-to-day IT involvement and without capital constraints, contact us.