How to effectively foster glycemic program change management with data — 5 takeaways

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Healthcare organizations continue to search for ways to improve monitoring and treatment of patients managing glycemic issues.

By collecting, organizing and displaying the right data, facilities and providers can drive change within glycemic programs.

During a June webinar hosted by Becker's Hospital Review and sponsored by Glytec, two experts discussed how to use data at every stage of the patient and institution journey to impact change management:

  • Jordan Messler, MD, SFHM, FACP, Executive Director, Clinical Practice, Glytec
  • Kendall Rogers, MD, CPE, FACP, SFHM, Chief, Division of Hospital Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of New Mexico Health Sciences in Albuquerque

Five key takeaways:

1. Data is the foundation of change management. The eight basic steps of change management (per the broadly recognized Kotter Model of Change) all benefit from incorporating the right data. "Using data can help us achieve situational awareness, create a sense of urgency, foster transparency and accountability and allow for real-time changes and improvements," Dr. Rogers said.

2. Data should drive real-time situational awareness. Partly due to the fact that no regulatory metric exists yet, roughly 60 percent of hospitals do not have the automated ability to extract and analyze glucose data. Without targeted awareness of key glycemic management indicators, and with a profusion of available patient data of all kinds, it’s easy for clinicians to "get buried in data," Dr. Rogers warned. "It's amazing what just one glucometer is capturing," he said. "Our job is really to identify the signal versus the noise. We want to create real-time situational awareness so we can intervene now."

3. Scaling glucometrics now will set the stage for the future. Most healthcare facilities are looking at all blood sugar events and all patient day and patient stay metrics. The usefulness of these metrics depends on the total number of patients and whether actionable interventions will result. "We know in the next few years, we'll have continuous glucose monitors," Dr. Messler said. "We're barely wrapping our hands around four blood sugar measurements a day." The future is going to bring a higher volume of data and will require more sophisticated dashboards to make meaning of it.

4. Dashboards to visualize and share data, set goals and monitor progress are critical to long-term success. Scatter plots, run charts and Pareto charts can be excellent ways to display data. By using these tools as part of a visual management dashboard, healthcare organizations can keep all players on the same page. Dashboards should measure what matters, facilitate the management of process change, highlight wins and deliver ongoing feedback. "Having a dashboard that incorporates many of these qualities can be difficult to build but, when instituted well, can really drive change," Dr. Messler said.

5. The art of storytelling must be leveraged to drive sustainable change. Although some people respond well to data and analysis, change is more likely to be driven and sustained through emotion — and visualizations and compelling storytelling can evoke emotions. "If we can generate some type of emotion, we are more likely to sustain some type of change," Dr. Rogers said. "Cultivate stories in your data."

To learn more about Glytec, click here. To view the webinar, click here.

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