Healthcare organizations typically compile data from multiple sources, and tools that enable them to analyze that data for actionable purposes are in high demand. Due to the fact that most humans process information more easily when it’s presented with a strong visual element, some healthcare providers are utilizing visual representations of the data to better communicate it to various stakeholders. Whether it’s through dashboards, infographics, stacked bar charts, line graphs, cartographs, Choropleth, Pinpoint and heat maps, these healthcare data visualizations give them a way to communicate quantitative data in a way that is accessible and easy to understand.
The California Healthcare Foundation notes that characteristics of strong data visualizations include personalization, storytelling, relevance, timeliness, connections and comparisons. They should be designed in a way that meets HIPAA guidelines by removing specific patient data and that allows users to access the information through multiple types of devices.
Teresa Larsen, the director of the Foundation for Scientific Literacy, offered the following tips on healthcare data visualization this past June at the HIMSS Big Data and Healthcare Analytics Forum:
- Stay true to the data. If the data is telling you something, you don't want to massage it to say something else.
- Communicate by design. When it comes to designs and charts, sound grammar is key to clear communication.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of color choice. Don't stick with default choices; using a more natural palate appeals to people's intuitive understandings.
- Ensure that plot dimensions match data dimensions.
Utilizing visualization to display and disseminate healthcare data benefits healthcare organizations by:
- Highlighting key data clearly and succinctly;
- Pointing out trends and patterns within data;
- Increasing comprehension of complex data;
- Promoting quicker decision-making for top executives;
- More easily conveying clinical insight;
- Making data more accessible for key decision makers;
- Enabling data to be processed easily for use across multiple departments.
The use of data visualization in healthcare can help providers put the growing stream of data into context for executives, administrators, physicians and more. It offers a cost-effective method for communicating information to people throughout the healthcare organization while ensuring high-level data is portrayed concisely and in a controlled manner.
At Syntrix, we have in-depth experience helping healthcare organizations successfully implement methods and technologies to increase their clinical, operational and financial performance. Couple that with being a Qlik Implementation Partner we can help leverage your information to produce and deliver accurate insights. To learn more, contact us for your free consultation.
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