While introducing a new population health analytics platform into your enterprise requires well-known implementation steps such as creating a technical infrastructure, conducting data analysis, and training users, establishing a culture that leverages analytics requires that you carefully consider and manage how users will apply the service to reach your end goals. Without considering cultural change and user adoption, your intelligence program can falter in an unused state: startling HFMA statistics show that only 21% of healthcare organizations with intelligence systems consistently apply actionable information from those systems on an ongoing basis, thereby missing a critical opportunity to apply data-driven decisions needed for pay-for-performance adoption.

Experienced McKesson Business Advisors have found that a 70% focus on technical issues combined with a 30% focus on operational adoption can create a culture of perpetual intelligence that drives lasting organization transformation. We frequently find that when population health analytics programs are managed as an IT project – and the operational issues associated with a cultural, pervasive change are not considered – analytics platforms are minimally used, fail to meet their potential and may not deliver the needed ROI. To avoid this pitfall, organizations should consider not just the technical aspects of implementation, but also the implications to your business by focusing on how new solutions will drive value and transformation within your organization.

Since your goal is to simplify and inform user processes, not complicate them, the impact on user workflows needs to be thoughtfully considered. Are you providing actionable information that users can leverage? Your program must deliver tangible value in ways that users can leverage to motivate them to apply information on a day to day basis. Designing a population health analytics system that focuses on your strategic goals - and routinely communicating and reinforcing those goals throughout your organization - will help your staff understand how their actions contribute to your plan.

Realize value for your analytics investmentTo build habitual adoption, it's critical to involve and assign diverse user resources in the intelligence development process: administration, nurses, case managers, care managers and others who work directly with patients, are key users of analytical tools that drive change in patient behavior. Analysts must also be engaged to interpret and manage results.

Post production, it's critical that you measure and evaluate system adoption and usage. Tracking and trending simple operational metrics, such as reviewing which users are logging into the population health analytics system or what reports are being distributed to providers, helps you determine if you're moving the needle in the right direction.

Meet your population health analytics goals

To learn more, access the HFMA presentation Leveraging Your Data to Build a Successful Population Health Analytics Program Across Your Network.

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About the author

Bridget McKenzie is director of Business Advisor services for McKesson population analytics. As a nurse executive, Bridget has garnered extensive inpatient and outpatient medical and behavioral health experience in hospitals, community health care centers and insurers. Bridget has more than 25 years’ health care experience and earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Community Health Nursing from Boston College.