Your Data May Hold the Answers to Tough QuestionsImage Banner

Your Data May Hold the Answers to Tough Questions

You are here

Your Data May Hold the Answers to Tough Questions

by: 
Doug Nafziger, CEO of Solana

Editor’s Note: ANCOR is thrilled to have Solana as its newest Gold Partner! After you read Solana’s contribution to this edition of LINKS, be sure to learn more about our partnership with the technology company by reading our partnership announcement.

Are you looking for answers to tough questions?

You are not alone. Many providers look for ways to improve service operations, funding optimization, labor retention and answers to the many other complex questions that they face today.

You have probably heard about “Big Data” and the concept of using information to solve problems, as these are common themes in today’s business-oriented journals. However, you are likely thinking, “That’s nice for bigger companies, but what about my workplace?”

The fact is, though, your provider does have the ability to use data to solve problems.

Now you may ask, “But where do I get the data I need?”

The good news is that if you use enterprise software, you already hold the elements needed to begin your analysis. Your agency clearly has hundreds of line items of General Ledger data. In addition, your software also stores staff information such as, hours worked, wages, disciplinary actions, to whom one reports, and training requirements as well as care information such as medications administered, ADL charting, and other care and activity demographics.

Therefore, you really do have a substantial amount of data. Let us look at a couple of examples of how you can use that data to solve problems.

Case 1: You know that you have had a high DSP turnover rate for quite some time. What you may not know are the factors that influence their departure (and there are dozens) and which are the most important to address. It is also difficult to evaluate the impact of programs and policies that you have established to address high turnover and the impact they have had. Historical data, along with a qualitative timeline, can help providers pinpoint the effectiveness: what works and what does not. By knowing this, you can optimize the efforts made to reduce turnover.

Case 2: Your DSP’s are departing at an accelerating rate. Various work teams throughout your agency are losing staff at a 55% retention rate – rather than your organizations typical 40% rate. However, because these employees are leaving from different work groups, the many supervisors and managers do not recognize the data trend as a more widespread issue. Thus, nobody knows to alert the recruiting and training teams to begin hiring more people than normal. After a couple months, the situation becomes an emergency – there are simply not enough trained and certified people to staff your agency and you are soon going to be out of compliance. By understanding the overall picture using analytics, you could address this accelerated turnover rate before it becomes an emergency.

There are innumerable ways to use data to improve the care given to individuals served, solve operational challenges, and prevent problems. The prevention of problems using data is referred to as Predictive Analytics. The cases above are both examples of this. Therefore, whether you solve or prevent problems, the fact is that the data you already have in your systems are very valuable.

For more information on how to handle these and other tough questions, please contact Doug Nafziger, CEO of Solana, a software, services and data analytics firms focused solely on the I/DD marketplace at doug@solanapro.com.