Social and Health Services

Looking Glass Analytics, Inc. (LGAN) offers a diverse range of products and services to social and health services agencies. The bulk of our work in this domain is developing sophisticated on-line management tools and providing analytic support to behavioral health agencies that oversee, manage, or provide substance abuse or mental health prevention or treatment services. This work is detailed below.

Analytic Services to Behavioral Health Programs

To run an efficient behavioral health agency or program, publicly-funded or otherwise, managers need timely information on a variety of important performance measures. To be most effective, they need this information for all entities that facilitate or provide care. State policymakers, county treatment planners and local service providers all benefit from tools that provide that kind of information quickly, easily, and comprehensively.

For more than a decade, our web-based reporting solutions have been helping behavioral health programs to bridge the gap between their need for information and their ability to produce it efficiently. Our products and services allow clients to analyze data on the patients receiving services, the services provided, and their outcomes. Our tools add value to the volumes of administrative data that treatment programs collect by providing the information needed to improve the delivery of services, inform policy decisions, monitor program outcomes, comply with state and federal reporting requirements, and meet a myriad of other needs. The types of services we provide include:

  1. Automated functions such as data processing, performance measurement/contract monitoring, and routine management reporting
  2. Evaluation expertise, which insures that the reports we develop provide valid and reliable answers to client questions
  3. On-line analytic tools for report generation and data query, and
  4. Ad hoc analytic and research support including quick-turnaround information requests, small research studies, and patient surveys
LGAN Online Analytic Services: Behavioral Health Applications to Deliver Information Efficiently

Typically, local care providers contract with counties or other administrative entities to provide service to local residents in need. In Washington State, counties are responsible for the contracting process and monitoring the performance and quality of care. Counties receive funding from state-level program managers who usually are responsible for the certification of providers, and provide electronic databases for patient and service information. Thus, providers from across a state enter records of patients and the services they receive into the centralized data repository. These data provide a wealth of information about how programs are running, but are often underutilized. LGAN fills this gap with on-line analytic services that can deliver information to many different constituents in an extremely efficient way. These services eliminate the need for states, counties and local providing agencies to hire highly trained analysis staff and sophisticated hardware and software to monitor their programs. One tool from LGAN serves them all.

Monitoring Performance Benchmarks: A Brief Case Study:

LGAN developed, maintains and hosts performance monitoring applications for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), and has done so for the past decade. We take data from several different DSHS databases, process it as necessary and maintain a web portal so that authorized users can access and analyze the data. These services allow for the monitoring of many different measures, but recently DSHS requested a new monitoring report to use when evaluating the performance of both counties and providers. They were interested in monitoring patient retention, and had a complex algorithm for defining that concept involving admission and discharge dates, encounter dates and encounter types. Rather than performing that work in-house, or in having the counties or providers doing their own analyses, they asked LGAN to capture this concept in series of reports and make them available to all authorized users. Our roles, in addition to publishing new reports on the web, were to provide research guidance in the formation of the measure and to perform ad hoc analysis to support their measure of choice. These reports are now available to the over 1000 authorized users of the service, and to any county or provider wishing to access it. Having it done by LGAN and incorporating it into our online analysis service means that the methods are consistent, regardless of which authorized user generates the report, and the reports are automatically updated monthly with new data.

How we work with clients

Though the needs of each client are unique, LGAN works with each client in a similar manner. The following steps are followed to insure that each client gets the information they need to manage their program:

  1. Gain an understanding of their business needs. Our background in behavioral health research assists that understanding.
  2. Gain an understanding of their data
  3. Determine their key information needs, performance measures, benchmarks, etc.
  4. Develop web interfaces and report templates that allow users to generate the information they need.
  5. Revise based on customer feedback (if needed) and publish to the web
  6. Provide user education: on both using the service and interpreting results.
Flexible User Management

Complex healthcare systems typically include many people with a variety of different information needs. In addition, the data is sensitive. Confidentiality concerns and regulatory requirements usually mean that a system of differential access to information is necessary. LGAN’s user management tools make it easy to disseminate information, and to restrict that dissemination when it is appropriate to do so. For some clients, we’ve created a level of public access, so that those not directly involved in a behavioral healthcare system can be given aggregated performance statistics in a way that protects privacy and confidentiality of patients.

Automated Data Processing and Reporting

Acquisition of data extracts of admissions, discharges, treatment services, medications, and treatment settings on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis allow us to provide highly customized sets of management reports delivered electronically (e-mail, web site updates, etc.) to any number of constituents or stakeholders.

Cloud Computing Advantage

LGAN hosts interactive analytic tools that allow any authorized user to conduct ad hoc analyses or generate pre-formatted reports updated with the latest data. Our use of the “Cloud” allows us to offer these tools via the Internet as "zero-footprint" computing services, removing nearly all the burden from the IT staff of providing analytic programming and infrastructure support. This frees up core staff to use their resources on providing quality patient care.

Sample Analytic Topics & Tools
  • Admission and Discharge summary reports
  • Retention and Length of Stay Analyses
  • Analysis of key treatment milestones, such as Entry, Initiation and Engagement
  • Treatment Sequence Analyses: Detoxification-Assessment-Admission
  • Psychiatric hospital follow-ups: entry into community-based outpatient treatment
  • Policy Analyses & Contract monitoring
  • Analysis using other sources of data, i.e. employment & criminal justice involvement
  • Ad hoc analysis of:
    • Admissions
    • Discharges
    • Length of stay
    • Retention

Monday, March 5, 2012, Administrator

 
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