For some, the idea of spending the day reviewing databases, reports and spreadsheets might leave them flat, but not me. I spend my days immersed in the data that is the lifeblood of ActiveHealth, and it’s so much more than numbers.
It’s the nudge that says, “Look at this – see this trend.” It’s the whispered, “Why is this happening?” It’s the exultant “Yes, it’s working!” ActiveHealth was founded on the idea that the right set of data given to providers could change the course of someone’s health, and we still fundamentally believe that.
What do you know and how are you using it?
Effective use of data and analytics is:
- Descriptive – what happened
- Predictive – what will happen
- Prescriptive – how can we make something different happen
Let’s look at an example
In reviewing program performance and clinical metrics for one client, we spotted an emerging trend and responded to reverse it.
- Descriptive: The number of members in one group who were complying with HbA1c testing was lower than we expected. This trend is problematic because routine HbA1c tests help people with diabetes understand how effectively they are managing their conditions. They also help treating health care providers modify treatment plans as needed.
- Predictive: We used predictive modeling to assess how this trend might evolve over time without intervention.
- Prescriptive: With this information in hand, we set an objective to increase the number of members getting HbA1c testing at prescribed intervals. We proposed providing targeted clinical alerts and recommendations to members who weren’t getting their testing done, to increase awareness and promote the value of testing. Later analysis showed a statistically significant increase in HbA1c testing for the targeted group.
Data turns into action
To bring what we’ve learned from the data to life, we need input and action from more than just the data science team. We trust our colleagues on the clinical team to apply their experience in motivational interviewing techniques to elicit the desired response from members. We turn to our colleagues in marketing to determine how best to raise awareness and spark action. We rely on our colleagues in account management to gain consensus with our clients as to what the challenge is and how to address it.
Coming full circle
Once we’ve set a strategy and executed it, we return to the data to determine how it worked. Ideally, we achieve one of those exultant moments I mentioned. However, a commitment to data-driven strategies requires flexibility and adaptation. If the strategy doesn’t work, we try again.
When you understand how much potential is there, just waiting to be uncovered, it’s awe-inspiring. Every new trend we uncover, every new plan we deploy, could be the first step toward changing someone’s health – and life – for the better.