As Big Data continues to change the world, it continues to embed itself deeper across a wider range of industries. Making evidence-based decisions is quickly becoming the status quo for successful organizations, and companies are restructuring systems to use the latest and greatest tools to effectively carry out day-to-day operations.
A survey by KPMG recently reported that only 16 percent of healthcare professionals use data in strategic decision-making. Without a data-driven strategy, the task of properly recording and relaying information needed to best serve patients can remain a cumbersome challenge and require large investments of time and money. A lack of coherent information also makes it harder to properly conduct large-scale evaluations of the quality of the services provided and to determine the factors that most directly affect patient experience.
Adopting Big Data can combat these challenges and increase the efficiency and accuracy of healthcare. Here are three principal benefits of using Big Data that healthcare professionals should consider.
Focus on Quality Healthcare
In order to make informed decisions regarding patient care, medical professionals require constant update and contact with every patient throughout each diagnosis and treatment. By mining larger amounts of data and adding more points along the continuum of patient care information, healthcare systems become better equipped to respond quickly to address the needs of their patients.
Other than just showing what treatments are being provided, data can also be used internally to better identify and evaluate human resources. For example, by maintaining awareness of which employees have renewed their ACLS certification, management can evaluate the training needs of employees and how to best organize staffing.
Current research also strongly indicates that data-driven improvements made to the workplace environment have direct effects on improving the quality of medical service provided. A better understanding of workplace metrics allows management to make specific improvements that eventually impact that care of every patient.
Reduced Length of Hospital Stay
In addition to improving the quality of treatment given to patients, data also helps healthcare providers reduce hospital stay and increase on-time discharge.
As Big Data helps professionals streamline communication between staff, the treatment process becomes more effective and patients progress quicker towards a successful discharge. Measuring and distributing the right metrics can help improve the operating logistics systems within a hospital by tracking metrics such as average length of stay and waiting time, which can help staff understand the average timeline that should be expected per patient
With healthcare costs still bearing the potential to create high financial burdens for patients, the ability to reduce costs can become a competitive advantage if a healthcare provider can offer faster treatment in addition to quality.
Better metrics also allow caregivers to determine when and to what duration inpatient services are necessary. By evaluating outpatient plans of treatment, professionals can reduce the length of hospital stay and provide plans that may include more direct and specialized forms of treatment.
Lower Treatment Costs
As medical professionals look to balance the forces of low costs and high-quality, fast care, Big Data becomes a vital tool for decision-making.
Hospitals can save money by eliminating inefficiencies that drive up costs. These could include delayed discharges, unnecessary testing, and reducing visits to the emergency room. Providing patients themselves with their medical data can also drive down the number of readmissions as they become more independent and proactive in caring for their own health.
The use of predictive analytics also allows doctors to identify patients that pose higher-risk conditions and evaluate preventative treatment approaches that reduce the overall cost of treatment and improve the quality of treatment provided.
As technology continues to improve information systems, businesses are able to make evidence-based decisions the status quo for management at each level. Within the healthcare industry, providers are making structural changes to ensure that data technology is being harnessed to the fullest extent and integrated throughout the entire healthcare operation.
As the use of Big Data continues to grow within the healthcare industry, hospital administrators and practitioners alike will be empowered to make the decisions required to improve care and lower costs and enhance the experience of each patient.