Initiating an Analytics Strategy for Your Health System

HIMSS Analytics

Do you need an analytics strategy for your healthcare organization? Just answering "yes" isn't the strategy itself, but it's a good first step toward initiation.

What is Analytics and How do You Build a Strategy?

Analytics competency is an organizational trait that is nurtured and developed over time. To develop your organization’s analytics skills your strategy doesn’t have to be complicated or sophisticated — but it does need to touch on some key points:

  1. Vision: How things will look and perform
  2. Environmental Scan: Drivers and reasons for the vision (in other words, the context and the why)
  3. Needs & Objectives: What you need and want to accomplish and all the details about said objective
  4. Where You Are: The current status of people, processes, technology and data
  5. Where You Want to Go: The target end state goal of what you want to accomplish
  6. Roadmap: Plan for bridging the gap between “where you are” and “where you want to go”
  7. Financial Considerations: The financial and resource impact of the roadmap
  8. Stakeholders: Who is in charge and whom are they working with
  9. Terminology: Making sure you all understand each other

How do you document your strategy and who needs to play a role?

Documenting the strategy does not have to be laborious or long-winded. Keep it simple at first, a simple one- or two-page plan will suffice if it includes the proper elements.  As your organization achieves goals you can advance and add more to the strategy.

As part of your analytics strategy development, shop it around the organization to get buy-in and support from all the key players and analytics champions. Discussion, awareness and understanding brings a strategy alive. Involve stakeholders in compromises and tweaks to the plan. These steps will help you progress by building executive support which can lead to additional resources.

What benefits should I expect to see from your analytics strategy?

An organization can expect to see some of these benefits from a socialized analytics strategy.

  • A documented collective understanding and purpose for advancing analytics competency
  • A common perception of analytics skills, current state and desired target state
  • A plan for the organization to deliver outcomes for its unified goals
  • Technology and staff alignment
  • Analytics efforts that support and align with organization strategy

If you don't want to go it alone, who can help?

HIMSS Analytics offers a maturity model called the Adoption Model for Analytics Maturity (AMAM) and can guide organizations through the process of developing and advancing an analytics strategy. The AMAM provides an unbiased healthcare specific roadmap for measuring, adopting and maturing healthcare analytics. The model focuses on four foundational analytics areas:

  • Data content – Building breadth and depth of data
  • Infrastructure – Centralizing access and ensuring timeliness of data
  • Data governance – Addressing quality, skills management, and strategic alignment
  • Analytical competency – Developing talent, socializing standards

Doing a simple AMAM survey can help you understand your organization’s current stage in the model. To reveal a firm list of actionable activities you can pursue to advance your analytics capabilities, quality and effectiveness, work with us to complete a Gap Assessment. The AMAM Gap Assessment findings report coupled with assessment findings review webinar or on-site review will help you develop an analytics strategy that aligns with your healthcare organization's strategy — a powerful combination. Get started with your AMAM Gap Assessment today to see how HIMSS Analytics can be the partner you need to advance analytics.