Do you manage your organization with reliable data?

Date:  24 May 2024
Graphic from Pia article

In healthcare, numerous decisions are made every day, with significant effects on patient care. Decisions guide how to use human resources and how to develop organizational structures and operations. Information is pretty much the only valid instrument we can use to have objective discussion, justify decisions, or evaluate the quality and effectiveness of care.

The importance of information and documentation in healthcare

Information is the intellectual capital of organizations, which, when used systematically and appropriately, leads to better performance, improved transparency and, at best, leads to high personnel satisfaction. We know that when staff feel well, work is more productive, and patients are more satisfied.

From the healthcare professionals’ point of view, the primary purpose of documenting patient data to electronic health records (EHR) is to ensure continuity of care and patient safety. When documenting patient data, the emphasis should be on following uniformed guidelines and conducting it comprehensively and accurately. These factors are also meaningful when the data is utilized for secondary use. Thus, health care professionals have a fundamental role in enabling better decisions in a health care organization because most of the data used in managing, evaluating, and developing operations is generated through patient contact.

What can we do to strengthen the production of reliable data in our organizations?

− Establish uniform documentation practices
− Promote comprehensive and accurate documenting
− Make short and clear documenting guidelines
− Make sure that documenting guidelines are accessible
− Develop systematic orientation and maintenance documenting skills
− Conduct systematic evaluations of data quality

However, the production of reliable data does not start from the health care professional. The conditions for documenting reliable data are enabled by management, and this can be promoted by creating and following a framework. The framework needs to address all roles related to production of reliable data from health care professionals to management. In addition, development of information systems such as EHRs promotes smooth and accurate documenting practices, e.g. by automating patient documenting.

So, have you checked that documenting practices in your organization support the production of reliable data, which consequently support high-quality decision making?

Pia Seppänen, member of the Harnessing Big Data SIG Steering Committee and Development Manager for Pirkanmaa Wellbeing Services County, Finland.

Guest writer

A blog from a member of the Harnessing Big Data SIG.

Wellbeing services county of Pirkanmaa, Finland

Pia Seppänen

Development Manager, Knowledge Management

Pia Seppänen leads a team of ten people tasked with developing data collection and change management processes related to data utilization in Wellbeing Services county...

Wellbeing services county of Pirkanmaa, Finland

Pia Seppänen

Development Manager, Knowledge Management

Pia Seppänen leads a team of ten people tasked with developing data collection and change management processes related to data utilization in Wellbeing Services county of Pirkanmaa. Her team works closely with all the internal service departments.

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