Co-locate IT, hospital analytics employees to boost productivity

The physical presence of data support experts co-located with hospital analytics employees has proven to be a boon for productivity and patient outcomes at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, according to Yiscah Bracha, assistant vice president of quality improvement healthcare analytics.

Bracha, in a recent post to Health System CIO, said that putting such professionals side-by-side has helped each to better understand the wants and needs of the other, particularly as they continue to work with "difficult data." What's more, she said, doing so has helped to streamline a burdensome request process that used to take days down to hours.

"Our staff meetings involve swiveled chairs and sitting together looking at the screen," Bracha said. "It sure beats writing down the requirements that you barely understand, submitting them into the queue and waiting."

Bracha said while there was some initial skepticism--analysts worried about their roles being reduced to information services management with less emphasis on patient care--her staff definitely is on board with the concept now and employee satisfaction has "leaped."

Corpus Christi, Texas-based CHRISTUS Spohn Health System has taken a different approach, separating their IT and informatics departments. Bill Morgan, the organization's senior regional director of information management, said that doing so helped to improve clinical and financial return on investment, as FierceHealthIT previously reported.

Meanwhile, Bracha, in an earlier post, urged CIOs to consult with staff analytics pros for difficult projects, such as building an enterprise data warehouse. Simply turning to IT for such projects, she said, can lead to incomplete or misguided efforts.

To learn more:
- read Bracha's post