The healthcare industry as a whole is playing a catch-up game when it comes to some of the analytical technology tools that other industries have been utilizing for much longer. However, this has proven to be beneficial in the fact that some trial and error steps have been eliminated from learning what other businesses have experienced. Not everything has been smooth sailing, though. Due to the quantity of data being collected, the privacy that must be upheld and the amount of reporting information that is required usually exceeds what many other industries have on their plate. As such, there are new hurdles and challenges that have to be addressed specific to healthcare.

Because analytics in healthcare is a somewhat a new player in the game, there hasn’t been the outside support system to learn many of the nuances. This idea of floating along the tide but not really understanding what is happening does not bode well, especially with the mandates that have come down with the passing of the Affordable Care Act. As part of this authorization, costs for healthcare treatments must be lowered, better or more effective care must be provided and healthcare professionals must also be aware of patient’s satisfaction. Any one of these requisites can be seen as daunting and requiring of significant changes within a system. Putting all of these together may be seen as impossible without the right infrastructure to make it possible.

For these and many other reasons, Health Catalyst has set up the Healthcare Analytics Summit ’15 to change the impossible to actionable. This summit isn’t about listening to so-called experts lecture on certain topics, and maybe you glean something from their insight. Rather, this is an experience that will have you in the thick of activities, question and answer sessions, and using your knowledge base to build on to help others as they grasp analytics.

Healthcare analytics is quickly becoming the most important and foundational competency needed to support healthcare transformation. However, in order to live up to expectations, effective analytics must quickly go beyond conventional dashboard and reporting capabilities and deliver fundamental insights needed to deliver lasting and meaningful outcomes improvement.

Those that attended last year’s summit came away with a much more in depth understanding of what they are facing and what possibilities lay at their fingertips when analytics is applied fully within their system. There was a lot of enthusiasm that shared, and the only disappointment that seemed to be visible was that more individuals weren’t able to attend. For this reason, this year’s attendance capacity has been raised.

What has been discovered in the healthcare’s version of trial and error with analytics is that flexibility and creativity need to play parts in uncovering problematic areas. This can be hard to explain because most people, both within and outside of the industry, believe that healthcare is very rigid and set in stone. It is only when decision-makers open their eyes to the possibilities of running a more efficient healthcare program is within their reach. Finding the ways to make a system more effective isn’t simply a matter of wishing it were true, nor is it as easy as creating a few reports which reveal all internal waste and unproductive matters. There is hard work that is expected, but with analytics tools and the understanding of how to apply them, problematic areas are exposed, which can then be addressed.

Another challenge that many healthcare analysts face is the old adage that more is always better. This isn’t the case with analytics; producing more reports, having stacks of information doesn’t usually produce clear answers. In fact, it tends to produce conflicting information that will set people and departments at odds. Learning about analytics in a forum such as the Summit helps to explain the difference between spitting out more reports and digging deep into the data to find the right answer for the organization as a whole.

This isn’t always the most popular method of handling data, especially because healthcare professionals don’t always see when other influencers might be positively or negatively manipulating the information they are receiving. Having the whole picture in front of you will give you the most extensive view of what is actually happening. With this knowledge it is then possible to tackle the provisions set forward in the Affordable Care Act. Knowing where to act, where focuses should be and why it is that way helps to give everyone involved data-driven facts to work from.

Make it a priority to find out more information about this year’s Healthcare Analytics Summit and if it is right for you and your organization. If it is right for you, please visit the registration page here.