Using data to monitor organizational performance and drive management decisions is something we’ve written about extensively in the past month—Making Your Clinical Team Data Driven, Understand Your Data, Make Decisions Quickly & Fail Fast, and The Cutting Edge Of Data Sharing For Population Health. And earlier this week, my colleague Monica E. Oss took a look at how data is evolving the change management process—Even ‘Change Management’ Is Changing.
On a similar note, I was struck by how metrics are also changing organizational approaches to training in the session last week, Big-Picture Approach: How To Tackle Value-Based Care-Winning Business & Improving Care Outcomes, featuring Carol Clayton, Ph.D., Translational Neuroscientist, and Tom Friedman, Senior Product Manager, Payer and Community Health, of Relias Learning. Their key point was that to address those areas where organizational performance falls short, staff education and training are often a key part of the solution. The value of metrics is to identify performance issues attributable to specific teams and individuals, and put in place personalized, just-in-time training solutions that are linked to the desired change in organizational performance. In short—analyze data, assess skills, change behavior, and track improvements.
Analyze—How do you use performance metrics to measure the effectiveness of training investment? First you need to “crunch the numbers” and understand what constitutes your “square one.”
Assess—Once you have those performance numbers, it’s time to understanding how your organization’s overall performance objectives and actual performance—cost, productive, clinical outcomes, consumer experience—stack up to the requirements. Mr. Friedman explained:
You need to understand where the problem is, measure the problem, analyze the problem, and address the problem. You need to start with data but you also need to start with variations in staff, and address the skill gaps. Rather than just saying, here’s some continuing education credits, you need to know what you don’t know.
Change behavior—By analyzing your data, you should be able to understand the performance issues your organization is facing and then stratify the risks to prioritize which issues need addressed first. This prioritization enables you to see where the knowledge gaps are within your staff and work to change those behaviors directly in a focused and specific process.
Track improvements—The first three steps will put your management team “in the game,” but going through this process one time and then letting your team remain static is a mistake. Your organization must return to the data again and again, to track improvements, monitor progress, and make ongoing improvements to performance.
Making this process successful, however, means understanding that improving skills is not necessarily proxy for improved performance—to achieve that, provider organizations need to know what they need to improve on for specific value-based contracts. These will be contract-specific opportunities to “run the data analysis” to assess staff, and then train with performance to those requirements in mind.
To show what this looks like in practice, Dr. Clayton presented the work of MO HealthNet, a division of the Missouri Department of Social Services, around an opioid data-driven education campaign targeting 55,000 Medicaid enrollees studied over eight intervention cohorts. The results? Performance education led to a 17.2% reduction in hospital admissions; 19.5% reduction of opioid prescribers per capita; 18% reduction of opioid pharmacies per capita; 10% reduction in average monthly dose of opioids; and $800,000 in annual savings.
Not prepared to take on greater performance requirements? Dr. Clayton explained that it doesn’t matter if you are being held to a new standard directly, if everyone else in your market is being held to those standards—when the competition is competing on increased quality and performance, it raises the expectations of the market. Dr. Clayton noted:
If you’re not in a value-based model, why do you need this approach in your organization? Or you may have one project even, but are still mostly fee-for-service (FFS). What’s happening outside your organization is affecting what you will do with the consumer, even if you can’t see it yet. Being able to have data to see what your consumers are doing is key, even if it’s not behavioral health. You want to get in front of that.
When you are looking for in a training solution is one that identifies need, targets specific training, tracks changes in performance data, then feeds the loop back. For example, if you’re moving into integrated care as a behavioral health organization, and you have to say, arrange diabetes care. What we see in data, particularly in staff without nurse training, is a need for basic training on what diabetes is and how to serve those consumers with SMI and diabetes risk or diagnoses. We could see in the metric that the care needs were way off benchmark, and identifying that need let us select for the right training.
For more on staff training, check out these resources from the OPEN MINDS Industry Library:
- Talent Management For A New Paradigm
- Strategic Talent Management In A New Era
- Finding The Tech Talent You Need
- Workforce and Succession Planning – Toolkit to Identify and Address Strategic Talent Gaps
- Talent Management in a Changing Environment: Workforce Developments to Note in Human Capital Strategy Development
For more, join my colleague and OPEN MINDS Senior Associate Ken Carr on February 15 for his session, “Using KPI To Manage To Improve Performance & Manage To The Market,” at The 2017 OPEN MINDS Performance Management Institute.