Boosting data analytics efficiency in the OR: 3 insights

Data analytics can help drive efficiency in the operating room, from relaying productivity, examining cost by case and implementing decision support.

However, recognizing quality data and implementing analytics in a way that will evoke a positive response from surgeons, anesthesiologists and OR staff can be challenging. These were some of the top issues with data analytics in the OR that panelists discussed at Becker's Hospital Review 2nd Annual Health IT + Clinical Leadership + Pharmacy conference in Chicago, May 2-4.

Three key takeaways:

1. Ensure data is authentic. When collecting data to present to OR staff, it is important to gather information that is not just accurate, but also specifically relates to the current initiative, said Tapan Shah, director of product marketing at Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal Health.

"Analytics is based on data mining. Garbage in is garbage out, so you have to make sure the data you're collecting is authentic and relevant," he said. "Part of it is making sure you know what you're going to do with [the data]. A lot of people focus on collecting and storing data but don't have the ability to actually integrate it to their workflows and make it work. Data accuracy, governance, and its utilization cannot be mutually exclusive thoughts."

2. Depersonalize discussions about data. To get OR staff on board with using analytics to drive performance changes, hospital staff should approach conversations in a way that will make the surgeon or anesthesiologist feel engaged, said Bernard Boulanger, MD, executive vice president and CCO of The MetroHealth System in Cleveland.

"Rather than [saying to OR staff] 'your cost per case is higher than your peers,' have the discussion and say 'how can we reach our target for cost per case? How can you help us reach our target for cost per case?' Just sort of flip the conversation to pull engagement," he said.

3. Use analytics to improve product deployment. When implementing a new tool or device in the OR, hospitals should consider using data analytics to gauge the tools' efficiency among the end users, said Matt Carroll, senior director of U.S. market access and custom analytics at Intuitive Surgical. Dedicating time to both pre-deployment research along with gathering feedback measures will help improve installation.

"There's an inordinate amount of time spent on the implementation, or the conversion from [whatever product or device the OR used before] to this new thing," Mr. Caroll said. "If we would spend a fraction of that time [researching and working on whether it is] the right new choice with those end user stakeholders… I think that deployment should go smoother."

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