York research contributes to national summit on data analytics for healthcare

A person is using a computer

Using analytics in healthcare is a vital paradigm to enhance patient health outcomes and service performance. On Dec. 4, York Associate Professor Christo El Morr, along with Susan Woollard of North York General Hospital, shared insight on this topic during the eighth annual Summit of Data Analytics for Healthcare in their presentation titled “Measurement and Metrics: Learn How to Better Measure Patient Outcomes and Benchmark Against Industry Leaders.”

Susan Woollard and Christo El Morr

El Morr of the School of Health Policy and Management in the Faculty of Health, and Woollard, vice-present clinical services chief nursing executive at North York General Hospital, were invited to speak at the summit, which is one of the largest healthcare analytics events relevant to Canadian healthcare.

Their presentation reviewed the use of metrics and indicators to measure the right outcomes in a hospital, the choice of appropriate analytics and the utilization of artificial intelligence to improve patient outcomes.

El Morr provided an overview of the difference between analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and supplied a practical case study where analytics and AI played a role in evaluating health service indicators. He stressed the need to focus on outcomes – not on the techniques or technology use – and that while preparing for the use of AI in the workplace in the future, there is immense benefit that can be driven from analytics to solve practical problems today.

Woollard discussed the daily challenges a manager faces in a hospital and highlighted the need for data to solve them. She presented several cases where analytics provided an insight that was used to enhance performance and patient outcomes.

“Analytics and AI are crucial for any health organization to achieve its goals,” said El Morr. “In my view, organizations need to develop a strategic plan for analytics and make sure it is aligned with organizational strategic planning.”

The summit, organized by the Strategy Institute, highlighted national and international case studies to achieve data analytical solutions for healthcare organizations in Canada. It was attended by personnel from hospitals, clinics, government, regional health services and health networks, as well as representatives from the software industry.

The opportunity to present at the summit is a successful example of community-based research collaboration, said El Morr, and positions York University as one of the leaders in healthcare analytics.