The High Cost of Data Management: Opportunities & Risks

Today, medical schools use dozens of software systems to collect data for use in important operational and regulatory processes. Over the past decade, the amount of data available to decision makers has increased exponentially as software systems capable of collecting different aspects of program performance have been commercialized and implemented. one45’s market research shows that the number of different software systems used just to deliver and monitor a typical UGME program is approaching 25. Across all facets of the medical school, the number of software systems may be well over 100.

“Big Data” has truly arrived in medical education.

Despite the proliferation of data and software, senior leaders continue to treat data and its care and feeding — Data Management — as an IT issue. Few medical schools employ a Chief Data Officer. Few list technology or data as important components of their strategic plans. Fewer still have internally developed perspectives on how the changes Big Data may bring will be explored, evaluated, and incorporated into their programs.  This needs to change. If your institution doesn’t have a coherent and leader-supported Data Management strategy, you are likely wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars in staff effort and significantly increasing your risk of notable performance and accreditation issues

Over the past two years, one45 has worked with 10 medical schools to build dashboards and data warehouses specifically for medical education. Developing usable dashboards is challenging.  Good data management has the power to inform strategic planning and policy choices and can be a huge boon to operational processes and critical decision making inside medical schools. The medical schools we worked with on this project struggle with a number of data-related issues with significant cost and personnel implications.

Some consequences of existing Data Management practices:

  • School commonly don’t have access to their own data
  • Multiple stakeholders are preparing reports using the same data
  • It takes too long to implement change
  • It is difficult to get to the big picture of performance
  • Same data in multiple systems

These issues have a big impact. They can lead to senior leadership seeing rising costs in staffing or wasted resources to duplicate processes for multiple systems. They can result in data showing conflicting information or a lack of clarity or trust in the shared information.

In our work with medical schools we are aiming to solve these disparate data issues by transforming medical education data into one single data warehouse and dashboard solution.

Data Management Dashboard

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