Imagine you work in an industry that is unique among service industries: Nearly every decision regarding the provision of customer services can have catastrophic, even deadly, consequences for the customer.
The customers, understandably, expect the service providers to make the correct decision 100% of the time, and to provide highest-quality services in a timely manner. And, of course, they expect their personal information to be secure from prying eyes at all times.
Add to that the fact that the service providers are typically scrutinized at a highly detailed level by government regulators—so much so that in some countries, the government is the sole service provider.
Welcome to the Healthcare Industry.
Healthcare and Data Governance
All of the challenges described above, among others, are data problems. Doctors need correct and complete information in order to make correct diagnoses. Nurses and other healthcare staff need timely, complete information to provide care for patients. The billing and finance departments need the right information in order to properly bill patients and insurers. Compliance departments must be able to find the right data when government regulators come around with audits on their minds. And healthcare providers of all kinds are often required to provide data, properly cleansed of identifying patient information, for government agencies to compile national healthcare statistics.
On top of that, all healthcare data needs to be properly classified, controlled and protected. Healthcare data can be just as valuable to hackers as banking and credit card data.
Achieving these objectives requires a solid data governance program—a set of consistent, understandable, and enforceable policies and procedures around the procurement, storage, use, and disposal of patient data.
Data Governance Starts With Metadata Management
Like all data governance, healthcare data governance requires tight management and control of metadata—the information about every database, table, column, data warehouse cube, and report element for which the organization is responsible.
Good healthcare metadata management provides visibility into the different kinds of data the organization has in its possession, how and where it is stored, how and where it is used and distributed, and how it is secured. With this knowledge, the healthcare facility management team can build and enforce the policies and procedures needed to implement an effective, high-performing healthcare data management program.
In addition, healthcare BI staff, compliance staff, and IT departments all need solid healthcare metadata management in order to do their jobs effectively.
Good Healthcare Metadata Management Requires Good Tools
Given the size and complexity of the data environment in many healthcare organizations—even those of modest size—metadata management is not something that can be done on spreadsheets. There are too many data assets, too many interrelationships, and too much change in the environment to even discover all the metadata manually, much less actively manage it.
Automated tools are necessary in order to have an effective metadata management system for healthcare. Metadata management automation provides the following benefits, among others:
– Automated discovery that enables BI teams to instantly find data throughout the entire BI environment
– Complete automated data lineage from across all BI systems, including reporting
– Horizontal AND vertical lineage that drills down into the ETL and stored procedures
– Continuous monitoring of the environment and automatic metadata refresh
– Automated Business Glossary to provide one authoritative source for all business operations
An automated metadata management tool can bring you all this with little or no human intervention, and no time-consuming, tedious, manual work on the part of the healthcare BI team. Not only do you realize greater, audit-ready control over your data environment, but you also free up the BI staff so that they can focus on drawing insights from the data instead of searching for it all day long.
Which is, after all, the reason you’re there.
Learn more about how Octopai’s automated metadata management platform can increase the efficiency and accuracy of your BI team’s work.