Making Decisions in a COVID-19 World: Why Trusted Data Matters
Mistake by Florida on child COVID-19 rate raises the question:
Can Florida’s numbers be trusted?
“It’s unacceptable to publish information that changes so dramatically that it warrants explanation, and then to not provide any explanation,” said Jason Salemi, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of South Florida College of Public Health in Tampa. “I’m trying to get an understanding of why the number changed so much, what underlies it — and can we trust this new number.” 
Data‑driven decision making is a process that involves collecting and using data to develop strategies and activities that benefit one’s organization. Fundamentally, it’s about leveraging verified, trusted data for analysis rather than merely shooting in the dark. And what’s true in business is true in our personal life as well. Good quality data is the basis for informed decisions. Though good data doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll make good decisions, bad quality data will most certainly mean we’ll make bad decisions.
Research has shown that the typical person makes about 2,000 decisions every waking hour. Most decisions are minor and made instinctively or automatically — what to wear to work in the morning, whether to eat lunch now or in ten minutes, etc. And while the implications of bad data/bad decisions related to those minor choices are somewhat insignificant, nowhere is it more impactful than those made regarding public and personal health. Especially today, where nearly every decision we make is through the lens of COVID-19.
- When is it safe enough to visit your doctor’s office, get a dental check-up, go shopping, ride the bus or go to the gym?
- What does it mean that some places are open but not others; and in one state but not in a neighboring one?
- Do we need to wear face masks outdoors as well as indoors?
- Are children immune from the virus?
According to the Harvard Business Review, “…incomplete or incorrect data can also muddy the waters, obscuring important nuances within communities, ignoring important factors such as socioeconomic realities, and creating false senses of panic or safety, not to mention other harms such as needlessly exposing private information. Right now, bad data could produce serious missteps with consequences for millions.” With misinformation and conflicting data, how do individuals answer those questions to make the right decisions for themselves and their families?
From our point of view, this is indicative of the broader need for trusted product data for healthcare providers. Trusted product data needs to be viewed as a vital asset. The benefits of consistent, high‑quality data are real, including greater efficiencies, lower costs and improved patient outcomes. But healthcare providers are struggling to source trusted product data, certificates and the documentation needed to remain compliant, improve supply chain efficiencies, and reduce procurement spend – all while ensuring patient safety.
The solution of course, is a scalable master data management solution that maintains, validates and distributes trusted product data improving supply chain efficiencies and ensuring patient safety. And that solution is Innovit.