How Master Data and Metadata Management Improves Healthcare Outcomes

metadata management

Does data about your data hold the secret to greater care outcomes? Can it reduce overall expenses? A growing number of healthcare payors are asking these questions about the full potential of their master data and metadata. When both are assigned properly at an organizational level and data lineage is maintained, payors can experience massive improvements in advanced analytics and value-based care. Yet without practicing master data and metadata management, enlightening and transformative connections may continue to go unnoticed. Here’s how better data management through the use of metadata can improve care outcomes and budgets.

 

The Purpose and Power of Masterdata and Metadata Management

Before we look at how healthcare payors can benefit from metadata, we need to understand its purpose. The core goal of metadata management is to simplify the way people and programs find and use data. Metadata gives context, helping to organize and provide relevance to the data itself. Attributes like file location, file size, data type, and author are vital signposts that allow for faster querying and replication of insights. Without these markers, queries often fail to retrieve important data that might otherwise transform reports and findings. For master data management, your business gives weight to your data and connects all of the data your organization finds to be valuable.

In a sense, effective metadata management prevents data from succumbing to chaos. By organizing and tracking data based on this contextual information, organizations create a shared map legend that helps people across departments navigate data with the same efficiency and accuracy. Plus, metadata management is necessary to create sound data lineage (which includes data origins and where it moves over time) so that relevant data continues to remain accessible as it moves and transforms in an ever-changing world.

The above is just the challenge of a single repository. When you expand your queries across repositories and departments, mismatched terminology can hinder your data analysis and reporting. If, for example, your billing department uses different vocabulary than your member care managers for the same concepts, the only way to achieve synergy between the two is through an employee with hybrid knowledge of both departments. Otherwise, reports will be weaker and incomplete. For full data efficacy, healthcare payors call for enterprise data management to remove hidden barriers to users and enhance the quality of their reporting.

How Data Management Impacts Healthcare Payors

Without proper metadata management to create an accurate data catalogue, it is next to impossible to establish data lineage. It’s through continuous data lineage that healthcare payors maintain full awareness and accessibility of their data assets, no matter where it is moved in data warehouses or data lakes. That is why metadata management is so crucial if you want to make improvements to your organization. Here are the tasks where payors see the greatest results with robust data management:

  • Finding Inefficiencies Faster – If bad data jeopardizes your report, you can get to the bottom of the root cause faster. Imagine that an EHR frequently exhibits incomplete or incorrect data. Reviewing author tags can determine if a specific employee regularly inputs incorrect data. That way, your organization can determine any instances where a specific user, office, or machine is decreasing the quality of your data and take steps to remedy the issue.
  • Eliminating Costs – Information from your master data can also help to reduce costs for your organization. For example, if you are running a campaign to encourage members to take advantage of their annual check-up, proper master data management can help to ensure that duplicate mailers are not being sent out to three members in one household when one will do. Numerous discoveries like this can eliminate budgetary waste and save your organization millions.
  • Promoting Better Data Exchange Networks – When payor organizations promote information sharing, member history and overall care outcomes improve. However, critical data can still be lost without shared metadata semantics. Member identifier tags are a prime example. If Payor A and Payor B use different metadata semantics to describe John Smith (Payor A uses the first two letters of the last name and Payor B uses the first two letters of the first name), both will likely not understand JSM123 and JOS123 are the same person in their analytics. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has advocated for more unified metadata terminology, and organizations that heed their advice will improve their findings and reports.

How can better master and metadata management improve your organization? Contact our team to unlock the full potential of your data.

 

 

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