The Truven Health Blog

The latest healthcare topics from a trusted, proven, and unbiased source.


Enhancing Analytical Capability

By Truven Staff
Robert Sutter imageWith the advent of electronic health records healthcare providers are in the midst of an unprecedented digital revolution - They are becoming awash with data. The question they face is: How to harness all of this data in a manner that facilitates enhancing organizational performance?

The first step to answering this question is to perform an organizational assessment to understand the current state of the organization's analytical capabilities relative to the five stages depicted in Table 1. With that accomplished, the organization can plot a course to advance to the successively higher stages of analytical competency - which will facilitate achieving higher levels of organizational performance.

Table 1

Analytical Objective
Analytical Process
1:Analytically Impaired
None established
Adverse to fact based decision making
2: Localized Analytics
Sparse, not integrated or aligned
Narrow focus, fragmented
Isolated, minimal
Isolated, not uniform
Craves for more and better data
3. Analytical Aspirations
Organizational performance metrics established
Fragmented, not aligned
Analysts to produce dashboards
Early stage of awareness of the advantages of analytics
Senior management support for fact-based decision making
4: Analytical Company
Develop an integrated analytics program
Some integrated, aligned analytics
Analysts with moderate skills but not aligned
Generalized senior management support
Change management underway to transform into fact-based culture
5. Analytical Competitor
Well developed and focused
Fully integrated, aligned analytics
Advanced: predictive modeling, data mining
Genuinely committed
Fact-based decision making is the way business is conducted

In order to be successful at becoming an analytical competitor an organization must have a senior management team that is genuinely committed to fact-based decision making. In addition, a well defined strategy is required to provide direction on the goals to be accomplished, the analytic questions to be answered and how to allocate analytical resources.

Robert Sutter, RN MBA MHA

Affordability and Quality

By Truven Staff
Linda MacCracken imageExperiencing unexpected price variation for out of network healthcare services may have been part of a shift in how consumers view quality. Affordability – copayments and deductibles – now plays a role in the way consumers define quality providers.   

Good physicians and  nurses followed by affordability and then clinician choice are viewed by most adults as hallmarks of healthcare quality. In the Truven Health PULSE Healthcare Survey research, consumers regarded affordability as the second highest indicator of quality in hospital selection, after good physicians and nurses. This shows a departure from retaining the same physician over time and reflects broader confidence in good clinicians.

The Future of Health Care Quality is Now

By Truven Staff
Bill Bithoney imageHealth care expenditures continue to grow at an unsustainable rate in part due to high readmission rates, hospital-associated infections, and medical errors that can cause adverse events and threaten patient safety.  The costs to hospitals are extraordinary. The toll on patients is even higher, with increased treatment costs, longer hospital stays, injuries, and in severe cases, death.

The future of health care quality is now.

I recently had the opportunity to address the future of health care quality at the Institute for Health Improvement and Technology’s (IHI) 24th Annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care. Alongside Jeffery Softcheck, Director of Laboratory and Outpatient Testing at Silver Cross Hospital, we discussed innovative, targeted approaches to reduce costs by improving care quality for better patient outcomes including:
  • The importance of assessing current hospital performance by identifying areas of quality improvement across the care continuum.
  • The need to identify at-risk patients and intervention candidates through proactive, real-time monitoring of patient specific data.
  • Providing caregivers the tools and patient-specific information they need, at the point-of-care, to improve care quality.
  • The combination of solutions that leads to increased awareness, teamwork, and efficiencies and produces better clinical quality and outcomes.
The growing focus on lowering health care expenditures by improving care quality mean’s that there’s no better time than now then to strategically plan for the future.

At Truven Health Analytics, we have a successful history of harnessing clinical data to help predict, manage and improve care quality and patient outcomes. We are now focusing on how we can help hospitals and healthcare partners make the best use of their health care IT systems to reducing costs while never waiving from our shared goal of improving patient care.

I would love to exchange ideas of how we can propel health care quality into the future. Please feel free to email me at