Using Data to Improve Patient Safety

As a healthcare provider, you’ve made a commitment to ensure that every single patient receives the requisite level of care consistent with best practice guidelines while mitigating as many risks as you can foresee. Along with the other duties of care that a healthcare organization pledges, this promise is a complex and demanding one.

However, statistics show that one in three hospitalized patients still experience preventable harm – 10 times more than in the 1990s. With the rapid development of expensive new therapies, coupled with increasing pressure to improve care while reducing costs, healthcare organizations are struggling to keep up. This goes for specialty pharmacy as well, whether hospital system based or independent.

So how can care providers be sure that they’ve got the most effective systems and procedures in place to meet these challenges?

The data doesn’t lie. With each passing day, real-world data is increasingly acting as the key that unlocks the wealth of opportunities that providers need to stay on top of patient safety and other critical elements of the care process.

The Importance of Data and TechnologyUsing Data to Improve Patient Safety blog-02

Across all industries, information technology (IT) and the streamlined dissemination of data has had massive impact on how products and services are delivered. In the 21st century, IT has created a culture of “mass customization,” which enables businesses to cater to the unique needs of each consumer.

As knowledge and capabilities are revolutionized in today’s healthcare environment, safe care becomes increasingly complex. As the New England Journal of Medicine notes, it’s unimaginable that patient safety can be held to its highest standards without the help of computerized decision support. For example, predictive analytics to identify patients likely to need specialty therapy and machine learning to evaluate and improve care management protocols.

Data and technology have immense potential to impact patient safety and outcomes, including the ability to help:

  • Automate standardized treatment guidelines
  • Implement rules-based procedures for care consistency
  • Assist in complex decision-making
  • Facilitate thorough communication along the care continuum
  • Provide feedback and analysis on performance
  • Reduce care coordination costs and resource consumption

Issues with Tracking and Addressing Patient Safety

According to Joint Commission, 80 percent of serious safety issues are the result of miscommunication among healthcare professionals. There’s extensive debate over the points in the care process where these miscommunications occur, and whether they arise more from individual negligence or flaws in the healthcare system as a whole. Ultimately, experts argue that patient harm issues may be primarily systematic, impacted by issues like siloed approaches to safety, insufficient harm tracking and real-time data, and lack of repercussions for incidents.

Using Data to Improve Patient Safety blog-03A New, Data-Driven Approach

The incredible accessibility of information is relatively new to the healthcare industry. As such, it’s been a slow and steady process of adapting and evolving to best leverage it. In many environments, care providers and stakeholders still use manual, labor-intensive mining of retrospective data as the primary tool for examining harm and managing patient safety. Often, this data isn’t integrated with clinical, operational, and cost data – a disjointed approach that fails to harness opportunities to glean actionable and predictive insights.

In order to fully reap the benefits of data, experts assert that a fundamental culture shift is needed. In addition to examining retrospective data, organizations should also shift focus to issues like provider burnout, increased risk transparency and patient engagement, and a workplace environment that encourages staff members and patients to “speak up” with any concerns involving the care or operational process.

Technology for Specialty Pharmacies

The right technology platform can help specialty pharmacies capture, collect, and analyze data to improve the future of care and further ensure that patients are receiving the highest possible level of consistent care. It’s with these considerations that TherigySTM was developed. TherigySTM takes a holistic approach to managing a pharmacy’s complex information streams, from prior authorization to long-term risk management.

The platform allows for thorough, consolidated documentation of the entire care continuum, giving multiple caregivers access to consistent and accurate information. The system is updated in real-time with new drug approvals and emerging drug indications, ensuring that the most pertinent data is always at your fingertips. Pre-configured, customizable assessments and clinical content allows for systematized care and more reliable outcomes. Careplans specific to 20+ disease states ensure that patient care and medication safety are always top of mind.

Contact us to learn more about how TherigySTM can help your specialty pharmacy better harness the power of data.