Empowering Employees with Information that Matters
Learn how Dynamo helped bring important information to the front line healthcare workers, empowering them to make daily data-driven decisions to better serve their patients.
We’ve invested countless dollars to give clinical teams the data that they need to better serve our patients, but it isn’t yielding results, I need to know why and how to fix it.
Tom, the CEO of a regional healthcare organization, spoke in frustration as he sought our help.
We engaged with this organization and learned that the data team had engaged at least three consulting firms, spending $12M and two years modernizing their data infrastructure. However, despite the progress they made towards a modern, accessible infrastructure, the data was not being used frequently or reliably to serve patients. The clinical teams still lacked the insights that they needed to grow.
The data team attributed this to a lack of data literacy:
All the data is there. The business teams just don’t know how to use it. We have given them a lot of training, but they still need handholding.
The head of one clinical department described her team’s struggles:
The data that is available to us is difficult to use. Every month, it takes my team 20 hours to create operational reports that we rely on. We either spend the time searching and reconciling the information into something usable, or we decide that it is too painful and not worth the time.
Our diagnosis of this situation is that the data needed by the business existed but was not usable. This is because the data and reporting were architected in a way that was divorced from the needs of the business. The data team had built the pieces of a functional data practice, but they could not put it all together to serve the operational needs of the clinical teams. The reporting also did not fit with the clinical teams’ workflows, costing the clinical teams time to pull the information that they need. The data team had spent considerable energy building datasets and reports, but they were neither designed nor tested against real use cases.
As a result, this organization lost millions of dollars due to uninformed decisions. They were unable to effectively calculate return-on-investment for opportunities to explore new markets and expand service offerings. They were also ineffective at managing staff capacity, supply and equipment maintenance, and space utilization. The resulting overworked staff, high staff turnover, long patient wait times, and low patient satisfaction led to lost revenue
Our first step was to help the data team develop empathy for the data consumers’ pain through interviews and ridealongs that built a holistic understanding of the clinical teams’ goals and challenges.
Next, we worked with the data team and the clinical team to help them partner on one use case, and to first prototype on paper. This was counterintuitive to the data team because their first instinct was to make significant investments in a solution, even before they knew that it would be useful. Using drawings and sample data, we helped them iterate quickly and cheaply with the clinical team to test usability. This gave them confidence that the resulting prototype, which was quite different from what they had initially wanted to build, would fit the clinical team’s workflows and be used by the clinical team to make decisions.
The data and clinical teams’ shared success in this first use case sparked a new pattern of working, as described by the head of the clinical team:
What we started to build together is just the first step in something that could be a massive game changer for us. This opened my eyes to the capabilities that Dynamo and the data team could unlock for us. Now that the data team understands our struggles, the things that they are working on with us can help us schedule better, know our margins, and allocate our resources more effectively. They can help us work smarter with the resources we have, and that would be huge. I feel like we have an ally now.
Dynamo’s goal is to help clients approach data in a human-centric and use case-driven way. As this case illustrates, many organizations focus too much on managing data and not enough on using data to make decisions. This leads to heavy data investments but still a lack of key information and insights. Building data around important workflows and business needs helps organizations empower employees with the information that matters. Developing data capabilities around use cases eliminates overinvestment and enables speed to market. It also fosters a sustainable and productive partnership between data providers and data consumers that is centered around business outcomes and value.