Achieving a data-driven hospital culture will benefit everyone involved, from physicians to HR to the patients receiving care. But how can you make it happen?

Hospitals of all sizes can benefit from a common analytics portal that connects all of the organization’s dashboard technologies and assets, serves as an incubator of knowledge and collaboration between teams, and acts as a welcoming entryway into an organization’s information and insights. Unfortunately, many healthcare facilities either do not have a portal in place that serves this purpose or they have one, but it gets no traction.

Current hospital culture

A common remark I hear is “We went through a lot of effort to develop a centralized portal for our staff, but no one is interested in using it.” The reason could be:

  • The portal is not actionable or creating enough value for users.
  • The portal isn’t engaging or exciting, delivering a poor user experience.
  • The portal isn’t well known – not enough people are aware of its existence or capabilities.

So, if your current healthcare analytics portal consists of a company logo, mission statement, a weather widget and a few links to outdated reports, then answer the phone – 2008 is calling and it wants its portal back. Your healthcare analytics portal should pull users in with modern and even cutting-edge functionality and features and should be a place to maximize the use of an organization’s investment in analytical insights and dashboard assets. In order to truly get the most engaging portal possible, it’s all about stellar design and user experience – a process that involves user research, user-focused design- and then adoption through training and change management.

In this article, I want to elaborate on a few features to include in an healthcare analytics portal to make the portal more relevant, timely, personal, and actionable for users. Really honing in on user needs when designing the portal will lead to better engagement and adoption of the healthcare analytics portal and ultimately promote analytics-driven culture within an organization.

Three portal characteristics for success

1. Social

It’s no secret that our culture has been obsessed with digital social engagement for going on a decade now. Leverage those habits of “liking, commenting and sharing” and include social features across the healthcare analytics portal to boost user engagement and create buzz. A couple of ways to make an healthcare analytics portal more social is to (1) create areas for open discussion and comments and (2) allow ratings and favorites. Social engagement and discussion about assets shown on the healthcare analytics portal not only drum up interest, but the data about how users engage with the portal contribute to the improvement of the future iterations of the healthcare analytics portal. Continuous improvement of a system through analysis of user feedback is an integral part of the Enterprise Dashboard Process. Social engagement also promotes cross-team collaboration and information sharing. Let’s say the marketing department has produced some impactful insights about changes in market share. If these insights are shared on the healthcare analytics portal homepage, users across the company will see the insights and have the ability to “like, comment, or share”. This takes these insights out of the marketing department silo and allows them to be informative and useful across the organization.

In addition, including a real-time chat feature is also important for creating a feedback mechanism that will lead to improvements of the system over time. The chat feature connects users directly to the appropriate channel for addressing their needs. This feature is also a great way for IT, research, or UX to understand user challenges and fix any issues quickly. Another perk of the chat feature – When a new person joins the team, they can quickly get up to speed on a dashboard by reviewing the chat history.

2. Discoverable

No one wants to waste time combing through a portal looking for a particular asset. Bad portal architecture equals poor user experience and then leads to decreased user engagement. First and foremost, the navigation should be simple, uncomplicated and user friendly. Files, reports, documents, videos and dashboards should be easy to locate.

An instant search feature is also vital. These days, having a robust search function means the difference between user satisfaction and a frustrated “close screen”. Search must consume the tags, as one would expect, but what happens when a user doesn’t enter tags? The search feature must also index terms within the connected files themselves.

Also, leverage the social features mentioned above by highlighting popular assets each day. Is there a certain insight about market trends that is getting a lot of buzz from the sales and marketing teams? Feature it. Did the company produce a new video explaining how upcoming regulations will affect the organization? Tag it and highlight it front-and-center for maximum exposure.

3. Fun

Rewards, badges, points. Take a cue from the gaming world and maximize interest, engagement and adoption through gamification techniques. Incentivize the sharing of reports and dashboards to accelerate user adoption of current assets and new contributions by content curators. Gamification techniques encourage collaboration and user engagement. They also fulfill our basic human needs to seek rewards, and most important, they make the experience fun.

Why a tool with these characteristics will work

Designing an analytics portal to be more social, discoverable and fun is the key to improving user adoption and continued engagement. Boosting interest and traffic to the portal through engaging features gives an opportunity to display an organization’s most important assets and insights and make them more actionable. As a result, the hospital as a whole will become more informed and collaborative. Over time, by analyzing the portal’s user interactions and user feedback, the tool can be refined to provide an even better value.

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