All hospitals want better patient outcomes and, therefore, are concerned about improving the safety and quality of the care, treatment, and services they provide. The best way to achieve better care is by first measuring the performance of processes that support care and then by using that data to make improvements.
Data provide hospitals with important information that can be used in a variety of ways. Collecting and analyzing data on performance, outcomes, and other activities can help the hospital improve its ability to provide quality care, treatment, and services. The hospital collects data from many areas and establishes data priorities particular to its needs. When data are collected, they are analyzed using statistical tools and techniques. When the hospital analyzes data over time, it transforms raw data into useful information. Analysis of data from internal sources allows the hospital to identify patterns and trends to monitor its performance. The hospital also benchmarks itself against external databases on specific topics, such as patient satisfaction, procedures, and outcomes.