Introducing Healthcare Data Bytes

Michelle Reed, an expert on all things healthcare and Director of Health Partnerships at AnalyticsIQ, is bringing her knowledge into the world of podcasting with her very own show, Healthcare Data Bytes! This informative, insightful podcast is focused on all things healthcare and data and features a new industry expert in each episode. From social determinants of health to the role data has in achieving health equity and much more, Michelle will be diving into all the important factors, trends, and changes influencing the world of healthcare.

To kick off this exciting new venture, Michelle sat down with Dr. Ellen Fink-Samnick, an accomplished and incredibly knowledgeable author and entrepreneur dedicated to empowering healthcare professionals, to discuss everything health equity related. From answering the question of “what is health equity?” to identifying the different ways data plays a role in achieving improved patient outcomes, these subject matter experts touch on it all.

Episode One – What Is Health Equity?

According to Dr. Ellen, to truly understand the core of what health equity is, we must first look at the factors that cause inequity within healthcare. Or as she calls it, “WHOLE-istic health equity”.  This wholistic outlook means looking at the whole person when we consider care, including the different political policies, systemic issues, and other barriers to accessible and equitable healthcare an individual might face. By looking at these factors and striving to understand them, we can begin to know what it will take to meet the unique needs of patients from all populations and ensure everyone has the same access to healthcare within their communities.

Data and Health Equity

Data is a driving force – even in healthcare. It provides organizations and healthcare providers the opportunity to look at the way they care for their patients and the unique needs of those patients from a broader lens, highlighting factors that make an impact, like SDOH and more. For Dr. Ellen, data is the key to delivering more equitable healthcare for all, with things like outcome metrics, patient profiles, and other data-related lens helping providers better understand the unique needs of all individuals. I

Most importantly, data helps us to be proactive instead of reactive. It arms us with insight into the barriers that may exist when it comes to both providing and accessing healthcare. It becomes a powerful indicator of what needs to be addressed most, or as Dr. Ellen said, it adds “pressure” to organizations to make the necessary changes to provide better access.

Dr. Ellen’s Rules for Using Data in the Pursuit of Health Equity

  1. We need to distinguish whole-person care.

Each individual is distinct with their own needs, healthcare concerns, and more. It’s imperative for healthcare providers to consider this when looking at gaps in care, or taking a “whole-person” look at the way they provide care for every patient.

  1. Stop being afraid of data.

Quality data gives providers and healthcare organizations an upper hand in finding gaps in care. Using this information helps to guide their focus to make sure they’re addressing what’s most important.

  1. Stop chasing the “elusive butterfly”.

The length of stays and admissions for patients can’t be fully addressed until we first address the wholistic social determinants of health.

  1. Implement and align with a roadmap.

Every sector of healthcare needs to be aligned with its roadmap for achieving wholistic, equitable healthcare. It’s important everyone is on board.

  1. Use consistent terminology across the industry.

There are countless names for SDOH. Wholistic care, social health, the list goes on and on – but for us to achieve equitable care, it’s important we address it all as one name to prevent confusion across sectors.

Interested in Learning More?

At AnalyticsIQ believe in using big data for good and are proud to partner with amazing healthcare research organizations, major health systems, retail healthcare brands, and pharmaceutical brands that are focused on delivering better and more equitable outcomes.

For more information on AnalyticsIQ and how HealthIQ and SDOH data can help your organization to better serve your community, please visit our Health page. We love to partner to solve complex issues with the power of predictive data.

Want to learn more about Wholistic Health Equity? Check out Dr. Ellen’s article on the subject here and check out her latest book, The Ethical Case Manager: Tools and Tactics on Amazon.