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2024 healthcare strategic planning: 3 new data tips

healthcare strategic planning

Hospitals and health systems understand the importance of diligent healthcare strategic planning. It enables them to monitor their markets while evaluating potential challenges and opportunities. However, without the right healthcare data at their fingertips, these initiatives can be more time-consuming and less efficient.

How are players in the healthcare industry using data in 2024 and beyond to drive their strategic planning efforts? Let's look at some pain points hospitals and health systems are facing.

First, hospitals and health systems must contend with recurring data challenges related to interoperability, accuracy and privacy. Secondly, to keep up with a changing consumer landscape, providers must adjust workflows and projects based on new industry data. We've detailed each challenge below and provided three strategies to combat them.

What data to use in your strategic planning

1. Claims data

When it comes to strategic planning in healthcare in 2024, providers must widen their view. Many providers are recovering financially and don’t have the capital to invest in long-term projects. On top of that, new cost transparency rules will strain already tight finances.

Hospitals and health systems must balance their three- to one-year plan and find ways to capture return on investment immediately. One method is to use claims data for more effective strategic planning.

How claims data gives you an edge

First, data can bridge the gap between short- and long-term strategic goals and objectives. Claims data are especially useful because these data help drive dollars into facilities faster. This is imperative as healthcare industry challenges grow.

According to the study, The Use of Claims Data in Healthcare Research, "Claims data may also be good for establishing the cost for certain diagnoses. The purpose of a claim is to collect payment, so it is convenient for researchers to consult fee schedules and reimbursement data and perform cost-effectiveness analyses."

You'll want to investigate your claims data to further build on the efficiency and effectiveness of your care. Some other benefits of looking at your claims data are finding ways to:

  • improve the quality of care;
  • improve patient experience;
  • better allocate resources;
  • support your healthcare organization's long-term goals.

2. Service line data

All healthcare is local: patients’ needs impact the entire community and the market must respond. But today’s “local” is larger and growing. The impact of disrupters, such as big tech, retail, payers and next-gen medical groups, can't be ignored. A disrupter can leverage data in ways that most traditional healthcare stakeholders still can’t and understand a market from miles away.

For example, UnitedHealth Group, parent to the nation’s largest private payer, controls nearly 10% of all U.S. physicians by affiliation or employment.

Even small health systems with strong post-acute services, integrated physicians and market concentration are not immune. In fact, such systems are more likely to be acquired. So, what can health systems do to remain viable and provide high-quality care that beats disrupters?

Why you should use service line data

Strategic planning should involve understanding your service line's strengths and weaknesses. From there, you'll gain a better sense of your market position and be able to use your data to the fullest. With a better grasp of your data, you can use additional key strategies to combat market disrupters in healthcare.

Not all of these strategies are alike. First steps can include answering three must-ask questions or researching tools that can provide these insights.

Sg2’s MarketEdge market and referral pattern analyses can help you achieve this. They'll help you better understand your health system’s market position based on:

  • historic use;
  • demographic data; and
  • other user-defined specifications, such as geographies and hospitals.

3. Hard intel data

As more companies collect and analyze different data types, "drinking from the data firehose" will be even harder. Collecting more data is a challenge as resources shrink. Plus, with bigger players entering the market, the nature of the data hospitals and health systems can access has changed.

For example, more than over 200,000 healthcare workers quit their jobs in 2021, according to the HealthcareDive. This year, RevCycleIntelligence reported that another third say they plan to quit before 2025, stating, "Healthcare workers are experiencing anxiety, depression and exhaustion, prompting them to leave their jobs."

That leaves less people in the organization to distill what’s most critical with higher data volumes. Resource constraints sharpen an ongoing risk,  data bias, at a time when providers need a bigger competitive edge.

How hard intel data gives you an edge

With so many healthcare workers leaving, you'll need to either adjust your strategic planning process to incorporate these factors or adjust your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

You'll also want to start looking into “hard intelligence” data. In the past, providers relied on anecdotal data. But to stay competitive, you need hard intel from diverse sources. Examples of hard intel data include claims, demographics and social drivers of health. All these data sources will help you achieve a more comprehensive strategic plan.

Develop a strategic plan with powerful data

Strategic plans in healthcare organizations are as only strong as the data collected. More data doesn’t always improve your market leverage, especially if you don't know how to optimize it. Plus, with shrinking staff and resources, adjusting your strategic plan (or pulling data) might not be a top priority.

Let DataGen be your data hub for strategic planning. Through our partnership with Sg2 MarketEdge, we'll work as an extension of your staff, providing you with key data points that drive ROI, growth and high-quality care. Reach out to us today and see for yourself how we can optimize your lines, financials and footprints.

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