One of the most important considerations in developing an effective approach to forecasting and strategic planning is the development of an operations-based information system. In the world of digital data systems, we usually equate information systems with cloud storage and electronic health records, but the concept really is referring to the way data is gathered, screened, analyzed and used to positively impact operations.
Setting up effective information systems is integrally related to the organizations mission, goals and to the specific environmental factors defined within in the strategic plan.
Developing operations information is a dynamic process.
While it seems easy to determine what information is initially needed, as the environment and situation change, the information needs also change. Items that were once important now are not. Other considerations, impossible to anticipate at the time the strategic plan was developed may now become critical. In any information system, a variety of sources should always be used. Information sources may include periodicals (particularly those published specifically for your component of the healthcare industry), published research and government actuarial sources.
A good data system should provide summary information to staff in a credible format that allows them to make more effective decisions in carrying out their jobs. Operations based information must be capable of providing enough information, but not more than is necessary and useful. As the type of informational reports needed changes over time – so will the data and digital gathering systems required.