Remember Hal the computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey? How about R2D2 from Star Wars? Both represented computers and robots of the future – in the movies, at least.
The future always seems to involve some form of computer driven society and less involvement of actual humans. Is this what we should expect as far as computer dashboards of the future?
If we actually had that answer, we would be billionaires today!
There have been numerous studies and predictions about the future of dashboards. We found this article by UX Magazine to be helpful on the topic of data visualization. We are already being introduced to how data will drive consumer decisions. Amazon now tracks items you are running low on and need refills, or the LG refrigerators that are “smart” appliances. The data (food or lack thereof) is tracked and data is sent to alert you to buy more.
What type of data will future dashboards track and how will it make our lives easier and more compliant?
Regardless of what technology is in place, human beings will still have to decide what to do with the data on the dashboard. That means capturing the right data and involving key stakeholders in your organization to think about the top 10 (maybe fewer or more depending on the needs of your organization) key metrics that will help you understand, prevent or react to a situation, problem or opportunity. The key metrics must be relevant, specific and yet transparent. If they are too specific to one particular user, they do not help the broader organization. Yet, if they are too broad, then they do not provide real insight to catch or react to something important.
So ease of use of the data and how it is presented will be key. We are all tied to our mobile devices, and the future dashboard will likely focus on the content on a smaller screen. The advent of the smartwatch makes that task even more daunting – at least for those of us over 45 and who need readers to see regular font!
We believe smart data will be demonstrated in more visual formats such as charts or pictures. Use of colors will probably become the standard since we are accustomed to the stop light color-coded system.
What would a healthcare compliance dashboard look like in the future?
Getting back to healthcare, first of all, it would be populated with dynamic, not static, data. Dynamic data is data that is pulled in real time and provides immediate access to critical data. The dashboard will have to be well thought out by many leaders in the healthcare organization in order to be truly helpful. If the wrong stakeholders are involved, you could track the wrong data.
It would seem that in the future, the key data that will matter (some of which is unchanged from today’s key data points), will include:
- Admissions data and re-admissions data – healthcare will probably still be reimbursed and evaluated on its effectiveness, efficiency and in lowering costs
- Billing data – was the service(s)associated with the care provided correctly
- Necessity – was the service(s) provided appropriate and standard for the diagnosis
- Type of Care provided– is it central to the services being provided and within the skill set of the staff
- Compliance – were the staff assigned qualified, licensed and not excluded by the OIG.
What if the data could predict future trends? Imagine if the dashboard could predict an outbreak of a virus in the area and thus alert the hospital of the need for additional staffing, medicine and/or planning for an influx of sick people? What if the dashboard could be modeled to reflect and keep up with population increases and in particular those who are prone to certain diseases? Now we are talking about real future dashboard metrics that matter.
The most important lesson we can bring from the current and take to the future – let the healthcare compliance data educate and inform us so we can react or pivot in a timely manner. This will make the data actionable and make your organization more compliant.
How “real” is real time in the future?
The cool police and James Bond movies show data can be seen BEFORE the event occurs. Although awesome in its concept, we are not sure that data can be that PREDICTABLE. Weather forecasting – sure that can be an art and science. But whether someone will show up to work so that you can be at full staff or foreseeing whether the wrong medicines will be administered are much harder to predict. However, predictive analytics will likely look much different than today. The Internet-of-Things revolution should help move that train along.
Dashboards will be mobile, real-time driven and as predictive as possible. It will still require humans since a computer is only as “smart” as the person that programs it. (The day that is no longer the case, is a future I do not want to live in!).
Wherever data dashboards of the future leads us, we know one thing for sure. Excel will be a dinosaur in the realm of tracking data. I, for one, look forward to that day!
Start the conversation – Where do you think dashboards in healthcare are heading? Comment below.
Check out our data & dashboard series:
1. Introduction to Healthcare Compliance Data & Dashboards
2. What can we Learn from Healthcare Compliance Data?
3. Oh, the Benefits to Reap from Healthcare Compliance Data Dashboards
Written by Michael Rosen, ESQ
ProviderTrust Co-Founder, email@example.com
Michael brings over 20 years of experience founding and leading risk mitigation businesses, receiving numerous accolades such as: Inc Magazine’s Inc 500 Award and Nashville Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year
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