Eating disorder. One hand holds a cucumber, the other hand holds a knife against the background of a white plateNational Eating Disorders Awareness Week is being held February 25 through March 3, in which the National Eating Disorders Association aims to increase awareness of eating disorders and support individuals and families affected by them.

Eating disorders are a main treatment area for children’s hospitals, with many of them operating treatment clinics or programs to help children and adolescents. In the multi-pronged approach to treating these disorders, analytics can play a role. Let’s examine how.

Eating disorder statistics

Eating disorders are closely tied to mental health. Nationally, 2.7% of the population will develop an eating disorder over their lifetime. These disorders are more than twice as prevalent among females than males (3.8% vs. 1.5%).

Treatment often includes psychotherapy, nutrition counseling, and medications. This involves the coordination of different providers and departments, which can often prove challenging.

How analytics can help

  • Monitoring medications: Are patients taking their medications? And if so, how are they responding to them? As previously mentioned, providers need to be more careful when medicating children and young adults, because they may respond to medications in more adverse ways. Analytics can allow you to track treatment plans and their success, as well as compliance metrics.
  • Tracking related measures: In addition, there are certain measures in place for patients that are on medications for mental health reasons. Analytics enables your organization to view how it is performing on these measures, and ensure that patients are making all of their scheduled appointments and are being monitored regularly.
  • Coordinating care: Because eating disorder treatment often requires care from multiple providers, it’s important to bring in as much data as possible from these different sources for a comprehensive view of the patient. It’s also critical for providers to be looking at the same data in the same way across departments to ensure everyone is on the same page. Analytics can help accomplish this.

Learn more

To learn more about how analytics can help in the treatment of eating disorders, as well as learn about other issues that children’s hospitals face, please read our ebook, “10 Challenges Children’s Hospitals Face, and How Analytics Built on Data Trust Can Help Solve Them.”

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Kathy Sucich

Kathy is director of healthcare marketing at Dimensional Insight. She graduated from Dartmouth College and is currently pursuing her MBA in health sector management at Boston University. Kathy is also communications chair for the Massachusetts chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).
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