On the Doorstep of a Healthcare Analytics Utopia

What is Data Good for?In understanding the vast amounts of data that healthcare organizations have at their fingertips, is to understand the meaning of life! Vast amounts of unused and unfiltered data that is being stored and has been stored since the advent of information technology in healthcare is phenomenal.  Using this data is where the opportunity lies for the future.

Operations and IS&T departments will be asking themselves questions such as “What kind of quality of care is the organization delivering and what is the cost of that quality? What kind of engagement is the patient experiencing and is does that call for a different kind of skill sets that we need to bring in (e.g. a Chief Experience Officer)? What kind of safety protocols do we have and have any of them been compromised in our delivery of care to a patient? How many physicians do we need to enroll in our tap badge enrollment so that we can comply with board of pharmacy regulations?”

These days, we see many organizations outside of healthcare leverage such things as predictive analytics. That and ‘Big Data” seem to be the buzz words of the day for healthcare. To me, making sure that we build the appropriately followed process that is not difficult to follow is the key to any clean and efficient system. Nobody goes into any organization thinking “How complicated can I make this process?”

Healthcare’s “Paradigm Shift” continues to play a large part in why we are now able to analyze and predict patterns than we were in the past. While leveraging the vast amounts of time, money and human resources experience spent on implementation of EMRs, that investment is now expected to pay dividends in understanding the ways that patient populations need to be treated.

During our upcoming Central & Southern Ohio HIMSS event on October 24th, 2014 at The Drake Center in Cincinnati (csohio.himsschapter.org), we will focus on analytics as the core of why all of the implementation and upgrade activities that have taken place over the last few years due to MU1 & 2.

Ultimately, we want to be able to predict, utilizing our billions of dollars of investments, what will be the outcomes of certain procedures and understand what course of action a provider wants to take based on those predictions. These are some of the applications that IBM’s “Watson” was going to focus on and my understanding is that they have been partnering with certain healthcare payer organizations for just this type of thing. Time will tell us whether all of the data that has been accumulated for these predictions pay off. Clean data is required as the predictions are only as good as the underlying data that powers it. The continued stride towards following process and procedure, collaboration and interoperability will be the key in making this analytics utopia a reality.




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