healthcare analytics teamIn my last blog post, we looked at how healthcare organizations can bridge the gap between clinicians and IT. Communication and teamwork are critical to bridging that gap.

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But how do you build that team? What roles do you need to fill? Here are 4 roles that are critical when you’re assembling your healthcare analytics team, keeping in mind that more than one of these roles might be filled by the same person.

1. IT person

When you assemble your healthcare analytics team, you need to have someone from IT who understands exactly what you need from a technology standpoint and can execute on that. Your team needs a person with these unique skills to help you achieve the final product or tool you’re looking for. Oftentimes, however, these people don’t always have an understanding of what clinicians are looking for, and why – they only understand the coding piece. And that’s where the other team members come into play.

2. Global thinker

In the last blog we talked about the importance of having a person on the team who understands the global operation – not just the one part of the business in which they work. This person needs to serve as a bridge or a translator between departments. He or she should know what you are trying to get out of business intelligence and should also have a good enough understanding of the technology needed to get there. This person doesn’t need to know how to code, but does need to have an ability to talk to the clinician and the coder in a way that gets each to understand what the other needs to know.

3. Representative from each area of operations

It is important to have multiple disciplines from the organization represented from the beginning of a business intelligence implementation. Topics come up along the way that don’t just affect clinicians – an OR process that needs to be understood, for example, or an environmental services process. To ensure that each department has its voice heard from the beginning, you should include them from the start. Whether it’s financial, ER, or a department unique to your organization, people from each area of operations should be included so you have an understanding of how each department will use the data.

4. Data analyst

Finally, you need a creative person who understands the operation and how to pull all the data together, as well as how to visualize it so it is consumable for users and they can make better decisions off of it.  This person is one who possesses the “data gene”.  They have the uncanny ability to understand and turn numbers and elements into meaningful actionable data. What skills do these data analysts need? Check out this SlideShare which has 5 skills your healthcare data analysts need to succeed:


One role you might not need: The data scientist

It seems like everyone these days is talking about the importance of data scientists and biostatisticians. These roles definitely have their place, especially if you work at an academic/research organization. However, for the everyday hospital, it’s often too expensive and time-consuming to hire a data scientist, if they are even available. Instead, focus on filling the 4 roles outlined above to cover your bases.

Are there other roles that are important when assembling a winning healthcare analytics team? Let us know in the comments below.

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