Produced since 1986, the Flash Survey provides information on current trends and regional benchmarks through quarterly assessments of finances, utilization and staffing to support effective strategic and financial planning. In the 1980’s, Flash Survey data was submitted by members through a manual input data survey form, which was then compiled by Healthcare Council staff. Over time and with improvements in technology, updated versions of the Flash Survey became more electronic, improving data integrity and decreasing the amount of time and resources invested in quarterly data submissions.
In March 2013, the platform that creates the Flash Survey was evaluated in order to assess its ability to maintain data integrity, minimize resources needed to produce quarterly surveys, and provide standardize data sets as well as customizable data upon request. The results of the assessment prompted Healthcare Council to make significant modifications to the Flash Survey, including a new platform, new indicators, updated standardized reports, while the process has been automated and the integrity of the data maintained. The new platform allows Healthcare Council to standardize certain reports and allows for flexibility to customize reports based on hospital specific requests. The input document and survey platform are updated on an annual basis to reflect necessary changes. The reporting structure analyzes volumes, the balance sheet, income statement and payor mix. It also includes an executive summary which provides insight to issues encountered by member hospitals.