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Maintaining the Quality of KLAS Data - Cover

Maintaining the Quality of KLAS Data

Almost 11 years ago, through a great stroke of luck, I found myself working at a company in Utah called KLAS, whose mission is to improve the world’s healthcare. I came from a market research background, where one of the last projects I worked on was for a company that wanted to know whether families would buy more ketchup if it came in colors like purple and green. On many occasions during this project, I seriously questioned how my life’s choices had led me to work on something so trivial and that I cared so little about.

Enter KLAS. I was suddenly surrounded by incredible people with insatiable appetites to help healthcare providers make informed decisions about the products and services they were purchasing, to help them improve their relationships with vendors, and to strengthen healthcare overall. In this environment, it was easy for me to catch the vision to improve healthcare.

This vision and my passion for it becomes an obsession when we start talking about data quality. Though we are not perfect, we have spent the last 20 years refining our methodology and processes to ensure that accurate data makes it into the hands of the healthcare industry. You can imagine that with more than 30,000 interviews a year, the process of transcribing, reviewing, and identifying relevant data could be an overwhelming task. It takes a special vision, passion, and endurance.

Our researchers speak with healthcare providers to collect their detailed and candid thoughts on the healthcare products and services they use. In my data-quality role at KLAS, I am part of a team that sees information from all the conversations that our researchers have with healthcare providers. This affords us the opportunity to review the information and ensure we are accurately representing the provider’s voice.

Nothing is more crucial to me in my role than to ensure that our data is accurate and unbiased. We CAN make a difference in healthcare by publishing accurate, candid, and vital insights that change the industry and keep it moving forward in a positive and helpful way.

There’s also a selfish reason I am so passionate about wanting to improve healthcare: in the end, it’s about patients, and at some point, I will either be a patient or love a patient in the healthcare system. When that happens, I want to have access to the best technology and systems available so that I or my loved one can be diagnosed and treated quickly and correctly.

Over the years, I have helped to develop internal training programs and quality measures to ensure that the data we gather and publish is impartial, helpful, and accurate. I have been fortunate to find the best people to include on our data team who also review and edit our data, reports, and presentations. Multiple team members scrutinize our data to ensure that we find important nuggets (we call them nerves) to share with healthcare providers and that we present this knowledge in an impactful, clear way.

Our rigorous training and review processes ensure that our whole KLAS team understands the importance of improving healthcare IT, the essentials of gathering the right information in an appropriate way, and how to reduce bias in our data. Our careful editors, passionate researchers, and insightful analysts are working every day to provide nuggets of knowledge to the industry.

These learnings will not only help vendors improve their systems but also help providers and vendors work better together so that patients may live longer and healthier lives. I feel grateful that I get to be part of this journey to improve healthcare by strengthening our training and quality processes.

We will hold fast to our uncompromising standards to ensure that we adhere to our mission to improve the world’s healthcare. We will continue to strive for excellence in data quality because as Pearl S. Buck said, “The secret of joy in work is contained in one word: excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.”