Use the available data to make decisions, Stanford researcher Kara Stenzel said.

So, instead of blindly following traditional departmental practices, you might use each department’s performance data to identify which procedures may be effective in measuring cost and efficiency. This, Stenzel said, would help you make sound decisions.

With all the hype surrounding data, it can be easy to get caught up in measuring metrics.

It’s helpful to take a data-driven approach to areas in which your department may be performing at a disadvantage compared to the competition, Stenzel said.

For example, you could compare how long it takes your nurses to complete each test, Stenzel said. With the help of data, you might identify which of the available procedures might reduce that amount of time.

“Definitely recognize that not everything has to measure in data. If you are deciding between two processes that are equally efficient but have equal cost, ask yourself if it would be effective to just assign the nurses to a process. How much time would it save?” Stenzel said.