Principles of Information Insight: How Kenway Improved a Healthcare Technology Company’s Data Assets
“It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become. “ – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
Many companies are unsure how to best leverage their data and analytics to steer them in the right direction. Organizations are missing out on how data and analytics can help reduce costs, identify new opportunities, and improve data-driven decision making.
You may have been following our series of blog posts where we have shared the key learnings from our work with a healthcare patient engagement company. We touched on how Kenway Consulting’s Enterprise Program Leadership and Technology Solution Delivery capabilities helped the client with its challenges as it scales and evolves its technology requirements.
We’ll wrap up our series by sharing how we steered the healthcare patient engagement company towards better data decisioning. We turn the spotlight on Kenway’s Information Insight capabilities and the frameworks we built for the client around data governance, data management, and business intelligence and analytics.
DATA REPORTING SHOULD NOT BE AN AFTERTHOUGHT
The healthcare technology company partners with leading health insurance companies. It supports them by growing health plan members’ engagement to reduce healthcare costs, improve quality measures, and increase overall health outcomes. Kenway worked with the company to move its engagement platform from an inefficient legacy platform to Salesforce.
The healthcare technology company uses Salesforce Marketing Cloud for customer outreach and to administer customer surveys. The gathered data syncs back to Snowflake to store it. Data is stored based on modality, which is defined as a phone call, text, or email. But disconnects soon surfaced because the data was not consistent across the program. Some Salesforce fields were interpreted differently based on whether the outreach was a call, text, or email. The company became dependent on the team’s tribal knowledge, and when new employees joined, it led to confusion over which field to reference for specific reporting requirements. Sound familiar?
The inconsistencies in the data collection process quickly caused extra work on the backend for the dashboards and reporting. Kenway recommends that companies give equal attention to data collection and data reporting rather than making one more of a priority. When organizations create or configure their data collection system, they need to understand how the data will feed into reporting, ensure the data is organized, and that the values are consistent within a field.
Kenway helped the client standardize rather than customize its data fields so that the reporting became more consistent and easier to maintain over time. For repetitive use cases such as the client’s survey questions and answers, time was saved by being able to reuse the code. The organization can now view key metrics for all its customers across a standard collection of questions like language, ethnicity, race, gender, etc.
DEVELOPER ACCESS TO HIGH-QUALITY DATA IS A MUST
In an ideal scenario, developers are given access to high-quality, comprehensive, and accurate data in a test environment so they can test their code and confidently push it to production. But like many healthcare organizations, the technology company must follow HIPAA regulations and its business requirements restrict its non-US-based developers from working with production data.
This predicament leads to a fine line between how much data to provide to developers when building dashboards while still being HIPAA compliant. Kenway considered some workarounds for the client’s non-US-based developers, such as using a data loader to import dummy data, finding a utility to create dummy data and import it, or manually importing the data into Salesforce – none of which were ideal processes.
The best recourse is to have the QA team generate test data based on the use cases they are validating. The team can insert data into the system by mimicking the end-to-end production process. This way, developers can see what the data will look like and make sure they can account for any edge cases that occur.
ACCURATE DATA IS OFTEN TAINTED BY HUMAN INTERVENTION
Companies can automate systems all they want but will most likely still need some level of human intervention for parts of the process. But when people become involved, it can often wreak havoc on the accuracy of the data.
Even though Kenway’s client was using Salesforce for automation, it still relied on its agents to input correct outcome codes into the system. Depending on the agent, a phone call to a member may be interpreted as an outcome code of ’member not home’ or ‘wrong number’ or ‘new phone number to be updated.’
The outcome codes were selected on two different Salesforce pages, and sometimes they did not align. The agent would pick one outcome code for the phone call they were assigned but then choose a different outcome code when closing the case. This scenario caused vast differences in data reporting. Ideally, the two pages should sync, and the agent should only be able to choose outcome codes from one page that then gets fed through the system.
Kenway built an implementation plan where the outcome codes would be consolidated to one page and automatically sync within the system. This consolidation will also help save the agents time for each case.
Companies can be proactive in situations where human intervention affects the data by putting alerts and notifications in place on the backend. These proactive methods help to detect anomalies in the data so businesses can address any issues that arise with agents before they become more significant problems.
Kenway also advised the client to add elements of change management and data governance to ensure the data intake process is fully defined, trained, and understood by its agents. Kenway takes a holistic and data-driven approach to change management. Its sole focus is to create an environment through objective policies and planning to ensure the end users are willing and able to change.
HOW THIS APPROACH COULD IMPACT YOUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
Organizations frequently face significant roadblocks that keep them from utilizing data as an asset. But those that can overcome data difficulties and transform how they use data are rewarded with reduced expenses, new opportunities, and increases in revenue. At Kenway Consulting, we address your Information Insight needs by identifying the capabilities and services required to solve your data challenges. Connect with us to learn how we can help bridge the gap between your business needs and data resources.