Last month, our issue focused on two concepts – bioconnectivity of data and informatics. The management implications associated with these concepts are simple. The cost of technology tools is plummeting at precisely the same time that web 2.0 is making it possible to “connect all the data dots” from all sources of information. This is bioconnectivity, which is illustrated in our chart of health informatics.
technology termsThen, we have defined informatics as a field of study in health care that analyzes the data gathered through bioconnectivity from the various forms of electronic health data systems. Informatics is the key to management success. In most industries, including ours, the difference between truly a great organization and one that’s merely good, is the management team’s access to accurate, timely, and useful information. In other words, the organization that has great competency in informatics is the organization that is most likely to be the industry leader.
This brings us to the cultural change that is required to embrace informatics – success in business planning and management requires that you move from a traditional model of providing purely financial and retrospective information and using best guesses for decision making, to one of providing forward looking and insightful measurement and analysis that can be used to make key decisions. This measurement culture is one in which organizational performance is driven by reporting, and managing key strategic and operational metrics. Essentially, there are three key components necessary to transform organizations into this measurement culture:
- An information infrastructure where staff have access to accurate, up-to-date data for making management decisions;
- A formal performance measurement system where selected strategic and operational metrics are reported regularly; and
- Standard reporting of selected performance metrics and compliance data to executive management and the board of directors so they are able to fulfill their roles in providing organizational oversight and strategic direction
When working with clients, I have found that most organizations have the data they need to support metrics-based management in their current information systems – but they don’t know how to properly organize the information. To build your foundation of measurement, start your metrics management approach by ensuring that staff has access to data via routine reporting to manage day-to-day operations and supervise staff. Once you have routine management reports mastered, you can then move on to key performance indicators, benchmarking, and dashboards.
Keeping track of data is the only way that you can measure your organization’s progress and stay on top of your weaknesses and potential threats. You can’t move forward in the future if you don’t have a clear picture of what is happening in the present – a culture that embraces informatics puts you directly in control of your organization’s own triumphs and failures. Remember that effective leaders of successful and resilient organizations possess the key management competencies needed to stay on top of the game – make sure that you are prepared.