Good data collection is one of the secrets to a successful and sustainable mobile integrated health-community paramedic program. Unfortunately, there’s much to lose by overlooking good data capture. What is good MIH-CP data? What are some costly data collection mistakes, and how do you avoid them?
In mobile integrated healthcare-community paramedicine (MIH-CP), good data is one of the main ways these programs achieve strong partnerships. In the following sections, we’ll talk about the types of data that are critical to record. Then, we’ll discuss common data mistakes and how to avoid them.
What Types of Data Should MIH-CP Programs Collect?
To illustrate the importance of data collection, imagine you are taking a college course. You work hard all year, but the instructor gives you a failing grade at the end of the class. Why? You may have worked hard, but there’s no way to prove you understood the material if you didn’t show your work.
EMS data consists of the facts and statistics collected for analysis and coordination. There are many forms this data can take, so before we talk about the common data capture mistakes, let’s get an overview of the types of data critical to operating an MIH-CP program.
Important data for MIH-CP:
- Patient history and information
- Common patients and reduction
- Readmission rates
- Ambulance utilization on non-emergencies
- Costs and money saved
Let’s look at these in more depth.
MIH-CP Programs Should Collect Data on Patient History
Community paramedic programs and coordination facilities need to read the same information to treat their patients properly. It doesn’t matter how robust the program is; it is unlikely to grow if it doesn’t provide good care to patients. Therefore, programs need to focus on providing a good service before worrying about other metrics.
Most ePCR platforms don’t allow MIH-CP professionals access to the broader patient health picture. The result is a fractured system that struggles to develop a smooth road to quality patient care. Instead of seeing the whole map, providers are stuck with snapshots.
Also, keeping tabs on patient info improves a program’s ability to document positive changes. Why is this important? It gives you the capacity to prove that your program works – this will increase your opportunities for funding and steady partnerships. It will also increase people’s excitement within your community, leading to a positive image and more significant support.
MIH-CP Data on Common Patients
When one patient begins to use the healthcare system disproportionately, it can strain everyone. Many communities know these patients as frequent flyers or super-utilizers. Unfortunately, this has become such a significant issue that reports show the lopsided number of times a single patient will call 911.
Keeping track of common patients is a huge step toward better response times and better care. Why? When you keep track of shared patients, you can better plan to send helpful resources to those patients or enroll them in your community programs.
However, it’s not just helpful to the patients. It also helps the EMS department. If you have the data proving that your MIH-CP program significantly reduced the number of calls from a given patient, you will be much more persuasive when looking for funding, partners, and growth.
The Colorado Springs fire department has compiled yearly reports detailing its ability to reduce high-utilizing patients. Proving these outcomes has led to them building sustainable funding sources from diversified partners.
MIH-CP Data on Readmission Rates
Some hospitals are slow to get on board with MIH-CP programs; others are more enthusiastic. If you’re looking for ways to get a hospital on board with your program, one of the best ways is to show them that your program can reduce hospital readmission rates.
Medicare has a program called the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP). If patients begin returning to the hospital at increased rates, Medicare can reduce a certain reimbursement amount. Essentially, they incentivize hospitals to improve care coordination and reduce frequent hospital stays.
MIH-CP programs have reduced hospital readmission rates. If you’re MIH-CP program fails to record these reductions or ignores the data, you could be leaving steady partners and stable funding on the table.
MIH-CP Data for Ambulance Utilization on Non-emergencies
When EMS directors and managers look to grow or establish new programs, they often need to persuade the community to vote in their favor – this is especially true in municipal-run MIH-CP programs. However, as any director knows, it can be hard to convince local commissioners and voters that the ambulance requires support.
With that said, people tend to react to numbers. That’s why it’s critical to document the data on where and how an ambulance operates.
Why? If you can show your ambulances spend significant time treating the same three low-acuity patients – creating delayed response times for life-threatening emergencies – laypeople are much more likely to understand the need for change. And they are more likely to favor funding and supporting an MIH-CP program.
Collecting good data lets, you show your work. Not everyone understands the jargon of the medical world, but they do understand clear numbers and statistics.
MIH-CP Data and Cost Savings
If your program has resulted in cost savings, it’s vitally important to document this data. However, on a practical level – you need to ensure that you’re not draining money into a program that isn’t producing.
Second, obtaining funding for an MIH-CP program in the beginning phases is often challenging. However, you can do it. If you’re curious, read our article on seven ways to fund an MIH-CP program. The last thing you want to do is waste hard work. By tracking your costs and demonstrating that you know how to manage resources, you give yourself a better chance of obtaining long-term cash flow.
As you’ve noticed, establishing strong partnerships has been a theme of this article. The truth is that building strong partnerships is the backbone of MIH-CP. Community paramedicine and public health programs operate with solid partnerships – crossing the borders of businesses and institutions.
How MIH-CP Can Avoid Making Costly Data Mistakes
Now that you know some of the most critical data for MIH-CP, it’s time to discuss ways to avoid fumbling that data.
Here are several MIH-CP data errors:
- Failure to capture any data
- Disorganized data
- Inability to cohesively share data
Let’s look at these in more depth and offer some remedies.
Failing to Capture MIH-CP Data
The number one mistake is to neglect recording data altogether. Information is like currency. Knowing what you’ve done and what you have is crucial to navigating where you are going. In a day when many companies pay for customer surveys, leaving information on the table is leaving money on the table – especially when it’s your company’s data.
Suppose your MIH-CP program or EMS institution hasn’t been capturing any data. In that case, the wise thing to do is investigate your documentation software and see if it has the capabilities you need. If your software offers no way to filter out good data, you may need to reevaluate.
While capturing information, you also need to break that data into a digestible format – that’s our next topic.
Inability to Synthesize MIH-CP Data
Capturing the data is the first step. However, once you have it, you need to organize it. Think about this like mining – while capturing material is the first step, you still need to refine it into something more usable.
It may be time for a software evaluation if organizing your MIH-CP program’s data is a headache. In this world, there are software options all over the spectrum. Some programs run a report at the touch of a button, while others are more ancient.
Julota’s cloud-based software offers the best of both worlds. It allows you to capture positive data while synthesizing and refining it into usable and clear reports.
Failure to Share MIH-CP Data
Healthcare teams work together. Modern patient care is calling for better coordination and greater interoperability. What does this mean? It means that the hospital, the urgent care, and the ambulance crew are all on the same page – they can all safely share patient information.
This is convenient in programs that incorporate alternative destinations or rely on community partnerships. For example, the community paramedic in the field can securely share information with the nurses at the urgent care so the receiving staff knows what’s coming through their doors.
Julota offers software that seamlessly allows mobile integrated healthcare programs to share patient information with authorized medical professionals. Integration is where healthcare is going, and Julota stays ahead of the curve.
Key Takeaway on Costly MIH-CP Data Mistakes
Your MIH-CP program can expand rapidly when you capture, organize, and share good data. Good data is the sustenance needed to foster healthy connections between your MIH-CP program and the community.
To discover how to optimize data for your MIH-CP program, contact Julota now. The team at Julota would be happy to answer your questions, offer a demonstration, and share how top-tier software can take your MIH-CP program to new heights.