Data and reporting have become an integral aspect of healthcare operations from both a clinical and non-clinical perspective. With the widespread onset of EHR platforms, clinicians now have access to powerful data sets that serve as catalysts for better clinical decision-making. Hospital operators are also able to take a deeper dive into potential clinical inefficiencies and make better business decisions, which ultimately helps improve the organization’s bottom line. With the plethora of reporting solutions and reporting tools at the stakeholder’s fingertips, how can an organization leverage enterprise reporting best practices to ensure that key personnel have access to the right data at the right time?
Many EHR platforms offer a set of canned reporting solutions out of the box upon installation; however, these reports may not be as robust as needed leading to new report requests. Leveraging the implementation of a structured report request process will help ensure your stakeholders receive a reporting solution that meets their needs in a timely manner. Often, report requests are received in the form of an email with minimal information provided, thus failing to provide the report developer with adequate information to begin development. Consider creating a user-friendly and fillable .pdf form using questions written in non-technical terms that can be distributed to stakeholders and utilized as a discovery document for your reporting solution.
Defining roles and responsibilities of your reporting staff can also assist in ensuring that your reporting solution is delivered in a timely manner. For example, a reporting coordinator can triage report requests as they are received and provide useful input so that the request is assigned to a developer with an appropriate skillset. Alternatively, if your organization utilizes a service desk platform, report requests can be assigned to a pool of developers and categorized based on the classification of the request (Eg: Inpatient, Ambulatory, Revenue Cycle). Lastly, leveraging the knowledge of your application analysts to assist in report request triage and initial discovery can prove to be of great assistance to report developers as they move forward with report development. Often, the application analysts are better versed in the specific data sets and can interpret the request with the correct context. The coupling of their expertise with the report developer’s technical knowledge can drastically improve turnaround times while mitigating the likelihood of errant data in a report.
Creating an organized and user-friendly manner for distributing various reporting solutions is an integral step in the optimization of your enterprise reporting strategy. This process often requires analysis of your current user and security build to ensure that the proper groups of users have access to view and run reports related to their job function. Additionally, leveraging metadata to ensure that reports are properly categorized will provide greater accuracy in search results should stakeholders query your reporting library.
Lastly, development of curriculum and training on various reporting tools for your stakeholders will tie together several of the critical elements of a successful enterprise reporting strategy. As we move in to the next year, many EHR platforms and organizations are placing a strategic focus on putting the power of the data in the hands of the stakeholder. For this to come to fruition with long-lasting effect, a clearly defined education and training initiative should be considered as you move forward with optimization of your current-state reporting strategy.