Lena Winfree (left), vice president, and Holly Rachel, president of BIT-Nashville, have launched a training program focused on providing data analytics skills to nonprofit healthcare organizations in Tennessee.

Feb 17 2022

Blacks in Technology Nashville Launches Health Tech Initiative for Nonprofit Organizations

The program aims to provide healthcare employees with valuable training in analytics and data visualization to better serve vulnerable populations across Tennessee.

The Nashville chapter of the Blacks in Technology Foundation (BIT-Nashville) has launched a statewide initiative to provide nonprofit healthcare organizations in Tennessee with training in data analytics. The free program will focus on Excel skills, analytics, and data visualization and storytelling.

“We wanted to pick skills that we knew were important for data analysis and communication, and that would be easily available for pretty much everyone,” says Holly Rachel, president and co-organizer of BIT-Nashville. “That’s why we focused on Excel instead of a more expensive data analysis platform because Excel is easily available to anyone.”

Data analytics and artificial intelligence are becoming increasingly important tools in healthcare to address population health, lower hospital readmittance rates and escalate potential health issues to clinicians.

“Data can be used for all kinds of things. Depending on what metrics you pay attention to, it can be used to streamline operations, improve patient care or obtain funding,” says Rachel. “To be more specific, data can be used to lessen wait times and identify disparities to address gaps in patient care.”

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Using Data to Create Health Equity

It was important for the BIT-Nashville team to ensure that the skills being taught would be applicable to nonprofit healthcare organizations no matter their budget. The organizations shouldn’t need to invest in additional technology implementations to make use of the training.

Part of the BIT-Nashville mission is to engage the community via technology. Rachel explains that because the participating nonprofit healthcare clinics serve Tennessee’s most vulnerable populations across the state, it was important for BIT-Nashville to provide a program that would give participants the skills they need to further their mission. The organization’s goal was to make the training relevant, effective, flexible and challenging.

The 12-week program will be held virtually and includes a mix of self-paced and guided learning courses. BIT-Nashville has collaborated with local training partners such as Nashville Software School, LocalTek and Next Gen Health Analytics to provide the training curriculum.

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“We know how important it is to have healthcare workers on the front lines who are knowledgeable about data,” says Lena Winfree, vice president and co-organizer for BIT-Nashville. “This knowledge can very well revolutionize the process of data entry and data-driven discovery for our nonprofit healthcare workers, especially while we’re in a global pandemic.”

Nonprofit healthcare providers that have chosen to participate in the analytics training program include Alive Hospice, Mercy Community Healthcare, Cempa Community Care, Rural Medical Services, Ocoee Regional Health, Lifespan Health, Cherokee Health Systems, Maury Regional Medical Group, Christ Community Health Services, Hamilton County Health Department, Siloam Health, Community Health of East Tennessee, Hardeman County Community Health Center, Tennessee Primary Care Association and Mountain People’s Health Councils.

The initiative is sponsored by HCA Healthcare and Dell Technologies.

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