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What’s a self-serve data culture and why does every healthcare organization need one?

Dec 14, 2021

Imagine if every time you popped into the grocery store, you had to hand your request to a clerk, who then disappeared behind unorganized mountains of unlabeled boxes to find what you need. There would be downsides.

First is the wait. Also, what if the store had just received a shipment of double chocolate fudge cookies (your favorite)? You would never know, so you’d probably end up with oatmeal raisin again. And, once you had your unlabeled cookies in hand, you wouldn’t know who made them, how fresh they are, or if they contain coconut, which makes you cringe.

Fortunately, grocery stores have aisles, food is separated by category, products are labeled, ingredients are listed, and expiration dates are included.

On some level, you could think of a healthcare data catalog like your average grocery store.

Just as the format of the grocery store makes it possible to live in a self-serve grocery culture, a data catalog makes it possible for everyone in your organization to find the information they need, when they need it. That’s what we call a self-serve data culture, and it’s what sets leading healthcare organizations apart from the rest.

Clean-up on aisle six
A healthcare data catalog takes your organization’s entire universe of data and labels it, organizes it, and displays it clearly so any user can find the information, reports, stats, metrics, and insights they need—quickly and easily.

A good data catalog will set up a culture where everyone in the organization can find the answers they need without requiring the assistance of the data team. This is a self-serve data culture.

What kind of “data” are we talking about here?
Let’s look at the range of data involved in a typical healthcare organization.

First, there are massive stores of digital records: patient records, billing records, lab records, insurance claims, procedure guides. Some information is hand-entered by doctors and nurses. Some flows in from patient monitors, IV machines, and even beds. Some is generated by administrative teams.

And that’s just for starters.

It’s like groceries going to waste
Many healthcare systems—especially small- to mid-sized organizations—are just reaching the point where they have more records, metrics, dashboards, and reports than they can easily organize. In many of these organizations, the only people who know where to find certain kinds of information is the data team, which means there’s a good chance a lot of very valuable insights aren’t reaching the right people at the right time. Much of it could be going to waste.

The power of a good healthcare data catalog
A good data catalog will label and organize your data, define and standardize your metrics, and make all of your information visible, findable, and usable by anyone who needs it. The best data catalogs will be easy to install and—most importantly—easy to use.

Not all healthcare data catalogs actually succeed in creating a self-serve data culture, either because they’re too complicated for end users to embrace or because data teams don’t have the right tools to drive usage throughout their teams.

Compendium Data Catalog is designed exclusively for healthcare organizations, it includes tools and tips for driving usage, and it has one of the simplest user interfaces available, so users actually use it.

Your friendly neighborhood solution
To return to our grocery store metaphor, let’s imagine that you’re a nurse manager who needs to pull a report showing who on your team is behind on their annual training requirements.

In a self-serve data culture, you wouldn’t need to send your report request to the data team, wait three days, and then realize that you also needed to know which of those nurses had worked overtime in the past month.

Instead, you can browse the clearly labeled, neatly organized sections of your data catalog, find what you need, see recommendations for related reports that other nurse managers recommend, understand the dates and definitions included in the report, and carry on with your work, better equipped than ever to serve patients and manage your team.

Is your healthcare organization desperate for a self-serve data culture? Check out Compendium, the data catalog for healthcare that delivers maximum results with minimal effort.