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Think data, not technology

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Lynn McVey, chief operating officer of Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center, an acute-care, 230-bed hospital in New Jersey,  thinks that data are what are needed, not technology per se.

She writes:

My e-mail’s auto-signature is a quote from my healthcare hero, Dr. Atul Gawande. Dr. Gawande says ‘We have one opportunity to leverage technology to improve care. That opportunity is data.’

”Lord Kelvin, the famed physicist from Belfast who died in 1917, said ‘without a numerical understanding, we have no understanding.’ Unless we manage with metrics and data, what do we actually manage? Data teaches us that emotional anecdotes, although interesting and dramatic, never get resolved. Data is the greatest single tool for compliance I’ve ever met.”

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