Data Analytics in Healthcare

I have been reading the use of Data Analytics in healthcare services as part of my preparation for future job possibilities. I am sharing my findings here with as they may be useful and insightful.

Healthcare IBM

Infographic by IBM: Healthcare is challenged by large amounts of data in motion that is diverse, unstructured and growing exponentially. Data constantly streams in through interconnected sensors, monitors and instruments in real-time faster than a physician or nurse can keep up [i].

 

The increasing digitization of healthcare data means that organizations often add terabytes’ worth of patient records to data centers annually. At the moment, much of that unstructured data sits unused, having been retained largely (if not solely) for regulatory purposes. It isn’t easy, namely because the demand for healthcare IT skills far outpaces the supply of workers able to fill job openings, but a better grasp of that data means knowing more about individual patients as well as large groups of them and knowing how to use that information to provide better, more efficient and less expensive care.

The following are the benefits of implementing data analytics in healthcare services:

Reduce administrative costs

The challenge of reducing administrative costs is one of the biggest for any industry. About a quarter of healthcare budget expenses is used for this purpose. Data analytics allows hospital systems to better utilize and exchange the information they already have by making sure their medical codes are properly used, and thus, the correct reimbursements are received. With Electronic medical records and automated coding transactions helps hospitals better manage the cash flow thus decreasing administrative costs.

As a tool for clinical decision support

With the use of data analytics, patients’ information such as medical tests, lab reports and prescribed medications could be displayed on one electronic dashboard. This provide a dual benefit of saving time improve the quality of healthcare services, while at the same time cutting costs for the organization. Issues such as double-prescribing patients’ medications due to the lack of information can be greatly reduced.

Reducing fraud and abuse

A significant amount of money lost in the healthcare industry due to fraud and abuse. Analytics can help organizations track fraudulent and incorrect payments by looking at the history of an individual patient.

Better care coordination

Hospital systems can be very disjointed due to its size and spread. Sharing of information between healthcare organizations and within the same systems different specialties was always a challenge. Analytics will hopefully improve upon this as they become more wide used.

Improved Information sharing with patients

Analytics can help healthcare organizations track and remind patients to keep a healthy lifestyle. Information such as ways a certain patient can modify his or her lifestyle to suit their medical conditions can make a difference in the health of the patient.

 

These are some key benefits a healthcare organization can gain from Data Analytics. This list is not a definitive list of benefits, as I am sure there definitely are more benefits that can be obtained.

 

 

Reference

[i] http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/gbs/thoughtleadership/healthcare-ecosystem/

http://searchhealthit.techtarget.com/report/Analytics-Moving-health-care-forward

http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/5-ways-hospitals-can-use-data-analytics

http://hissjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2047-2501-2-3

 

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