What is the Best Way to Implement an MDM solution? One Bite at a Time

You know that old saying, “What’s the best way to eat an elephant?” “One bite at a time.”

Best Way to Implement an MDM solution? One Bite at a Time

Much like the daunting task of eating an elephant, implementing an MDM solution can seem staggering. Many times, the implementation team gets mired in the details, wanting to create a solution that is the answer to everyone’s problems and as a result never gets started due to the overwhelming nature of the undertaking. After many successful MDM implementations – I’d like to recommend the following approach to eating your elephant:

  •  Clearly establish the business problem you are trying to solve

According to the Gartner Group, “MDM is a business-driven, technology-enabled environment and program.” It is really important to remember that the reason you are working on an MDM project is to satisfy a specific business need aligned with the overall business strategy. Once aligned – it is easier to show value to the organization when it is successfully implemented.

For instance – if you want to reduce readmission costs for a specific segment of your member population, this could have an impact on several potential business goals in the payer market including improving customer satisfaction and lowering cost of care for specific populations. Improving customer satisfaction is a pretty big elephant – but focusing down on reducing readmission costs is much more manageable. And it will impact two of your business ! Sutter Health has taken this approach and is releasing new use cases every 90 days.

  •  Understand and document your current state

Now that you know what problem you are attempting to solve – you will need to understand the current level of maturity of your current approach and the resources it will take to implement your solution. You will need to consider your available resources, understand the amount of time and money it may take to implement a solution, and obtain visibility into where your organization stands currently in regards to the .

Using the readmission example – you are going to need to identify where readmission data is available. How often is this data updated? What is the quality of the data? How difficult is it to get access to the data? Who are the resources that are responsible for readmission data? Are they distracted by many competing requests? What are some of the data sources that could impact readmission rates that are not currently part of your data sources? For instance – understanding the living arrangement of the member prior to discharge can have an impact on readmission rates (members living alone have a much higher readmission rate than those living with others). If you can identify a household through social media data, you can better predict who will be going home alone.

  • Clearly define success

There is business adage (much like eating an elephant!) that says “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Before you implement your MDM solution – you need to identify what metrics are most important and show success. These should align with the goals you set in #1 (which should align with the goals of the business). You should also identify specific business outcomes that metrics can apply to.

What would be a reasonable measure of success for reduction of readmission rates?

  • Moving from a 15% readmission rate to an 8% readmission rate?
  • Moving from a 15% readmission rate to a 10% readmission rate? In what amount of time?
  • Perhaps moving from a 15% readmission rate to a 13% readmission rate in a year after implementation?
  1. Build a governance hierarchy

According to Gartner Group, “Governance is about decision making and ensuring that you have an authority framework that takes decisions and is able to measure the execution of those decisions.” An effective governance program requires a well-defined hierarchy, headed by a sponsor — someone in a position of authority who carries the necessary weight and cross-departmental authority to make MDM governance a reality. How can you find out how mature your organization is from a data governance perspective? There are several vendors and websites that can help with that including: www.governyourdata.com .

You need to be able to make assessments about the quality of the source data, the data lineage (where and how the data that is feeding your MDM solution has been modified) for compliance reporting requirements, as well as establishing a process for support of your data quality. There are 10 data governance insights from UPMC here.

Now – what is the smallest bite you can define for your organization? By laying out your business priorities, identifying your current state, creating a measurable goal and a method for governing – you have put clear boundaries on what you are trying to accomplish. Once you’ve established your credibility on your ability to finish your first bite successfully, the next bite will be easier!