Every industry is developing new ways to harness a tremendous volume, velocity and variety of data. From farmers tracking crops to interactive restaurant menus to financial planners detecting spending patterns, big data is incredibly varied in its uses and virtually unlimited in its potential.
Now healthcare is getting in on the trend. As a story in HealthIT Analytics pointed out last week: “Health systems and research organizations are pouring millions of dollars into innovation centers and data science education, turning themselves into living laboratories to find a way out of the health IT morass that has tied their hands for so long. Vendors are offering exciting, clever, useful data management and analytics tools that finally offer experiences comparable to what we see in other industries.”
One analytics tool many health systems aren’t yet taking advantage of involves clinical communication. (Read our new white paper, “3 ways to optimize clinical communication with analytics.”) When we launched Voalte Insight last year, we gave our customers a detailed view of how their nurses, physicians and support staff are communicating so they can pinpoint statistics and trends, such as:
- Voice, alerts and text messaging activity
- Activity between departments, units, roles and users
- Use of group messages, photos and priority messages
Alarm fatigue is one challenge where this data can reveal problem areas and inform potential solutions. On each shift, physicians and nurses might receive hundreds of voice calls, pages, text messages and alerts. Most hospitals, however, don’t have a way to analyze the volume of those communications or the timeliness of responses. Blessing Health System is one healthcare organization that’s benefiting from powerful analytics tools to reduce alarm fatigue and improve care team communication at facilities in Illinois and Missouri.
“Alarm fatigue is a real thing, and we struggled to understand how many alarms people were getting,” said Campbell. “Now we can confidently say that people are receiving ‘X’ number of alarms, which helps us decide whether to add new alarms or change workflows.”
While analytical tools are vital for all businesses to compete successfully in today’s data-driven environment, the stakes are even higher in healthcare. By giving health systems access to data that exposes communication breakdowns and promotes streamlined workflows, we can support high-quality care and the best possible outcomes.
Trey Lauderdale is Founder and CEO of Voalte.