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A magic lever to best health – data and information

By February 22, 2015Advocate, ePatient, Informaticist, Leader
I work in a human services agency.  We support individuals with disabilities. We help people achieve their hopes and dreams in their communities. One of our strategic activities is to increase the information available to the persons we support, staff who support them, management who  supervise staff, and our funders. The information helps us all keep a pulse on how well we’re doing and improving and alerts us to areas of risk to individuals we support, staff, and the community. Providing meaningful information that can be acted upon has its challenges.  Meaningful information comes from trustworthy data that represents real life work and wellness. We subscribe to the Triple Aim of improving individual well-being and experience; improving the health of the community; and improving the value of the support and care systems we provide and use .
We find ourselves either drowning in data that doesn’t inform us nearly as well as we’d like or lacking information about areas that seem critically important. Imagine being in an ocean of data and not being able breathe. No learning, no wisdom, just soaking wet. We think that people are dying too young, that they could be healthier, happier, and more fulfilled in the community.  We think that support could be better coordinated and that people could be more drivers of their own health journey. We think that we spend too much money on expensive care and that we are often penny wise and pound foolish. How do we know? When will we know it’s getting better?
This begins a series of posts about our challenges with data, information, insight, and action. Possibly a drier topic than some of my recent posts, but it’s my idea of fun – it’s a magic lever to best health.