Apr 22 2019

Why Provider Strategies Must Make Room for Data

For healthcare organizations, prioritizing analytics is a no-brainer.

Whether looking to improve patient care quality or organizational efficiency, healthcare leaders I know almost all agree that at the heart of those efforts must be an investment in data and analytics.

Recent surveys seem to support this. For instance, according to research conducted by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions late last year, health systems are more likely to have defined strategies around analytics, departments dedicated to leveraging Big Data and executive leadership roles focused solely on managing data. Eighty-four percent of the 56 health system CIOs, CTOs and chief analytics executives surveyed said that analytics will be important to their organizational strategies over the next few years.

Additionally, a report published this year by the Society of Actuaries finds that both payers and providers are increasing — and have big expectations for — their use of predictive analytics.

MORE FROM HEALTHTECH: See how other providers are getting buy-in for predictive analytics programs.

Care Organizations Tap Data Approaches to Best Fit Needs

It’s interesting to see the different ways organizations use and benefit from an increased focus on analytics and leveraging data. According to a survey of 110 hospital and health system leaders by HIMSS Analytics, 90 percent of respondents currently leveraging analytics solutions are doing so in clinical areas. About 86 percent of respondents are using analytics in financial areas, while 77 percent are focused on operational areas.

Jefferson Health in Philadelphia uses data visualization to uncover trends that help to better understand provider needs. Through those efforts, it’s increased operating room start times by 25 percent, leading to improved patient satisfaction and savings of roughly $300,000 per month.

Christine Holloway
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to how or why organizations are taking advantage of data and analytics solutions.

Christine Holloway Vice President of CDW Healthcare

Phoenix Children’s Hospital, meanwhile, uses data lakes to sift through patient information and improve in areas such as medication dosing. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to how or why organizations are taking advantage of data and analytics solutions. 

StoneGate Senior Living

Providers Build a Foundation for Data Success

Investing in a data strategy doesn’t just mean deploying solutions to process and visualize information, however. Building a proper foundation is critical to ensuring such efforts can even get off the ground.

At Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, S.D., a virtualization solution helped the organization create a virtual data warehouse that links together the system’s different applications.

And at StoneGate Senior Living — which operates senior care communities in Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado —
an upgrade to its data center focused on hyperconvergence enables the organization to not only store more information but also to access it faster. That helps StoneGate improve the level of care it delivers to its patients and residents.

At HIMSS19 in Orlando, Fla., former National Coordinator for Health IT Dr. Karen DeSalvo, now a professor of medicine and population health at the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School, talked about how the industry is using data and analytics in smarter ways to produce better patient outcomes.

“We have spent the last seven or eight years building this foundation of data, and we’re living on a mountain of it,” she said. “Now we’re able to use that data to turn it into machine learning and artificial intelligence, tools that lower the cognitive burden for not only the caregivers and the clinical team but also for patients as they’re making choices in the healthcare system.”

Healthcare Data Will Only Grow in Importance

These trends will almost certainly persist as providers continue to prioritize data-driven planning. Increasingly, strategies that revolve around leveraging data and analytics capabilities will not only be beneficial but necessary to keep pace in a highly competitive healthcare landscape.

For healthcare organizations on the fence, there’s no time like the present to start planning for your future.

Laurence Dutton/Getty Images

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