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Physicians: How Does an Organization Handle Its Data?

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We’ve been looking at various aspects of an organization that should be evaluated before you, as physicians or advanced practitioners, accept a position. Yesterday, we talked about the importance of an organization’s approach to customer service.

Today, the question to consider is: How does the hospital or physician group handle its data? Modern healthcare is, by necessity, data-driven. How sophisticated is a potential employer’s data management? How sophisticated and up-to-date is its EHR?

I recently talked on this matter with Dr. Kishore Ranadive , chief executive officer of Orlando Heart Specialists in Orlando, Fla. Because most of Dr. Ranadive’s patients suffer from chronic heart disease, he said many of them are with him for a long time.

As one of only six clinics nationally to have been awarded the 2012 Bridges to Excellence Cardiac Practice Recognition by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the National Center for Quality Assurance (NCQA), Dr. Ranadive knows firsthand the importance of being meticulous with the data cascading forth from an organization on a daily basis.

“The only way to prepare ourselves for a value-based system is to show your data, and one of the things we’ve been meticulous about is looking at our data, because that’s the only way to say you are better than someone else or you need improvement when your numbers are not what they should be,” he said.

Having adopted EMR 10 years ago, Ranadive said he and his team rely heavily on the information the EMR collects.

“EMR is not just a record keeper,” he said. “It’s a report generator.”

Once an organization has that data in hand, it can better understand where its patients are coming from and whether it has adequately secured their buy-in. After all, Dr. Ranadive pointed out, if the patient doesn’t trust you, then you won’t earn the outcomes you desire.

“A lot of these problems with cardiac patients are often not symptomatic, but are silent diseases that require a combination of medications that patients are less likely to take if they don’t trust you,” he said.

As physicians and advanced practitioners looking for jobs, how important is data to you? How do you know if an organization’s data is quality information that will enable you to care for patients better? What is the best way to bring this subject up in an interview setting?

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