Proper clinical data management is crucial for the success of your medical organization and the overall satisfaction of your patients. It’s how you can ensure you always have the information you need to diagnose and treat patients.
A strong data management strategy makes everything in the office operate much more smoothly. From the second a patient fills out their initial forms to when you have to check the progress of their treatment, having your data in the right place can make all the difference.
But, keep in mind data management is the responsibility of all. You can’t just rely on a certain software or filing system to do everything for you. You need to take the time to train and challenge your team, too.
Here are ten tips to keep in mind when improving your health data management.
1. Reduce Wasted Time
How much time do you usually spend locating a patient’s file? Does your waiting room have a tendency to get backed up because your front of house staff is dealing with stacks and stacks of files?
This is an obvious red flag that you need a better data management strategy. You have to identify all the time that’s wasted in your office and find new ways to get things done. The less time you spend inputting and locating the data you need, the more you can focus on the well being of the patients you’re actually collecting data from.
2. Simplify Daily Operations as Much as Possible
Wasted time is just one way that your operations may not be set up as effectively as possible. Take a moment to consider all the different roles in the office and how everything flows together.
There may be a better way to track, store, and transfer the information you need. Also, it could be possible to consolidate some of the responsibilities your employees have in order to streamline everyone’s day.
Your best data management opportunities may be right under your nose. You just have to be able to step back and identify what’s working and what’s not, then tweak some of the ways you do things to create an outcome that’s better for everyone.
3. Create More Effective Roles for Employees
Speaking of tweaking some of the ways you do things, think about the way each employee is expected to handle patient data. You want to make sure everyone accurately tracks and fully understands the information they’re working with.
Not to mention, it’s important to get the full story of a patient’s condition before different doctors/nurses start working on him/her. It could be worth lowering the number of hands that one person’s information passes through during their treatment. Or, it might be better for you to separate the information management process into different roles for different employees to focus on.
4. Move Away from Spreadsheet Madness
No matter how you decide to organize or restructure your team, one thing is for sure – the more you minimize the number of spreadsheets you use, the better. It’s easy for your employees to get confused (and waste time!) when they have to sort through many spreadsheets all the time.
The better alternative is to find a new storage and tracking system that makes sense. You may have to go back to old school filing or get serious about organizing your cloud. Still, the point is to make patient information easier to store and find, without making your employees do the runaround.
5. Ensure Clear Communication Processes
Here’s something to think about: maybe it’s not employee organization that’s the problem, maybe it’s the way they communicate with one another. All it takes is one nurse reading (or inputting) a patient’s information incorrectly for another teammate to take an ineffective course of action during treatment.
You want to make sure everyone communicates as clearly as possible in conversation and in their logging and sharing of information. This could mean giving your team a refresher of the proper medical codes to use or maybe hosting a team bonding event to build more trust and unity among your team. Although the approaches are very different, they each encourage better communication.
6. Identify the Most Important Medical Information
Another way you can improve your clinical data management is to identify the most important information from the start. This plays into how employees communicate and it helps the filing system improve, too.
When the most important information gets shared first, the patient’s needs are easier to assess. Getting to the core of the issue from the get-go helps doctors brainstorm treatment possibilities and keeps everyone on the treatment team on the same page.
7. Invest in Staff Education
Keep in mind that your data management success is only as good as the work ethic and knowledge of your staff. The best way to improve your office may be to focus on the growth of each individual.
Send your team to continuing education workshops and conferences where they can learn the latest in clinical data management. They may come back with valuable information to share with everyone or a new idea to present to you.
The latter could be anything from how to better handle daily operations to a new software system that could benefit the whole office.
8. Upgrade Your Software Systems
A new software system may be just what your clinical data management needs.
Think about it: there are all kinds of innovative resources out there these days. One of them is bound to improve the workflow and overall organization of your office, but you have to invest in it first.
Take the time to learn about the data management support available to you and see what may be worth replacing in your office.
Clinical Data Management Made Simple
You can read all the clinical data management tips you want, but it’s only when you start to make some changes that real improvements will happen in your office. One of the best changes you can make is switching to a new and improved software.
Click here to discover how healthcare data solutions can help you.