Bringing Clinical Analysts and Informaticists Into the Quality Fold

By Sam Elizondo posted 09-11-2014 08:08 AM


Through my work in 2014, I have had the opportunity to travel to and interact with staff from countless hospitals, large and small,  throughout the country.  One of my key observations has to do with the tremendous variability in work and culture in hospitals, as was also mentioned by this week's conference key note speaker, Dr. Makary. 

I am very interested in learning more about how some of you, as quality professionals, are working to collaborate with your clinical informatics analysts to drive more rapid cycle quality improvement at the front line.  I have found that, generally, clinical informatics analysts work in a silo and do not interact with quality staff and, most often, do not have a grasp or real understanding of the quality function.   Additionally, I have found that the relationship between clinical informatics and quality department staff tends to be somewhat adversarial.  Ironically, the clinical analysts and informaticists are often better positioned to drive more rapid cycle clinical process improvements and changes at the front lines due to their command of the real time EHR data, processes and reporting.  Can anyone share their thoughts and experiences about this?  Was great seeing everyone at the conference! Sam




10-09-2014 07:19 PM

Sam - At my organization, the Quality department and Quality Data Analytics report to the same VP so our staff are pretty well aligned. Our approach, for example, for quality dashboards has Quality Staff members acting a bit like brokers between our medical staff and the analytics staff. Quality will work with the medical staff in determining the kinds of metrics needed for a dashboard, and then bring in the analytics experts to "make it happen".

09-14-2014 12:02 AM

Sam, we actually work very well with our Informatics folks. They are part of most meetings I attend where we are working to hard-wire actions within order sets, etc. They help to work through problems very collegially. All are nurses and understand the clinical arena quite well....I'm speaking from an Acute Care perspective. Sounds like we should feel quite blessed with our Informatics team! :)