Data: It CAN Be Your Friend!

By: Dennis Yadon, Diamond Program Coordinator

I could be making a generalization, but I’m guessing most folks do not enjoy collecting data. I am one of those data geeks who actually enjoy creating and analyzing charts and graphs. This article is for similar geeks too, but mostly it is designed to inspire the huddled masses who would rather watch paint dry than collect data!

Why should data be important to assisted living providers?

  • Data is the only way of truly knowing where you stand in terms of providing the best possible care for your residents now and into the future.
  • If you set out to make improvements, data provides you the only reliable way of verifying that your changes are having the impact you intended.
  • Data-driven decisions are hands down the most effective decisions that can be made because they are made based on facts, not gut feeling or emotion.
  • Data gives you a clear picture that can be presented to consumers and state regulators as proof or validation of the quality work that you do.

Data plays a key role in the work of assisted living communities who are members of the WALA Diamond Program. The Diamond Planning Workbook emphasizes the need for data collection and analysis in every step of an effective quality improvement process. Additionally, as the Diamond Program Coordinator, I am happy to offer my healthcare quality expertise to member providers who have a need for assistance with their data collecting and analyzing activities.

Finally, as part of the Diamond Program, member communities also participate in the efforts of WCCEAL (Wisconsin Coalition for Collaborative Excellence in Assisted Living). By inputting data into the WCCEAL website on a quarterly basis, Diamond members will receive outcome data like this example:

In “real life”, communities would see their results in the first column, the overall results for all Diamond members in the second column and the results for the entire WCCEAL group of communities in the third. This data could easily be put into an Excel spreadsheet and tracked over time. It should be noted that the state will NOT be able to view results that are community-specific and will ONLY see aggregated data.

If you would like to be a part of this, join the Diamond Program! More information can be found on our website. You can also contact me, Dennis Yadon, with any questions at 608/663-9901 or dyadon@ewala.org. OR, come to one of our Conversations that Lead to Quality Care sessions and learn about it there (and also have the opportunity to hear directly from BAL Regional Directors)!

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