How to Leverage Big Data in Healthcare
From insurers and risk managers to hospital administrators, here are some ways professionals in healthcare can effectively deploy big data analytics.
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Healthcare professionals and providers are slowly coming around to the promise and potential of big data analytics. Big data has already left significant impacts in several industries, and its ability to improve operations and uncover deep insights make it a crucial ingredient for healthcare's future success. Even so, many health and medical services providers have yet to integrate the technology; not for lack of desire, but simply because the implementation can seem daunting without a clear understanding of the impact it can have.
How does big data fit into healthcare? There are several fields within the industry that can and have already benefited from leveraging analytics. From insurers and risk managers to hospital administrators, here are some ways professionals in healthcare can effectively deploy big data analytics.
Turn the Focus Toward a More Patient-Centric Approach
No matter which subsector of the industry you work in, healthcare is about dealing with people. For many hospitals, clinics, and other care centers, patients are sometimes deprioritized due to models that prioritize quotas and numbers. The issue is that focusing on patients and quality of service requires substantial amounts of data from diverse sources, a factor that can quickly complicate matters.
By integrating big data in healthcare, companies and professionals can start finding some order in these data points and begin identifying actionable insights. These come from optimizing reporting, data management, automation, and collection. By using the right healthcare BI tools, healthcare companies and organizations can start focusing on how to improve existing services and client outcomes, all while focusing on rewarding quality and cost-effectiveness.
Improve Treatment and Health Outcomes
The shift towards a larger focus on patients comes with the caveat that in addition to a better experience, their health outcomes must also improve. The problem with treating patients or even perfecting a treatment is that data is not always organized, and in some cases must be compared with other sets to make sense fully. Currently, information isn't always freely shared or simply seems to be unrelated.
Using big data analytics tools, hospitals and other healthcare centers can track patients that have repeated procedures or conditions and use predictive tools to create a more tailored and success-oriented plan for their treatment in the future. By exploring treatments that showed success in specific cases and connecting them to successful outcomes, healthcare professionals can leverage big data to create unique and effective treatment strategies.
Streamline Hospital Operations
Hospitals are massive, both literally and figuratively. Between multiple wings, branches, units, and hundreds of staff, data is produced at breakneck paces, and many times goes unused or unnoticed due to the sheer numbers. Hospital administration is a demanding job, and more so because it requires making decisions that impact nearly every facet of the facility without having all the information available.
Incorporating big data analytics can help refine administration in a variety of ways. The first is simply improving staff management by better tracking of hours, shifts, and other metrics that may translate into success levels. Similarly, you can greatly enhance billing efforts with predictive analytics thanks to improved tracking and analytical tools. Hospitals can monitor patients that have paid in the past, see which are more likely to be transferred to collections, and which simply can't pay. This way, administrators can be more proactive in helping patients pay their bills, avoid late fees, and keep their costs low.
Implement More Precise Risk Analysis
For insurers, understanding their clients is a vital component of offering the most attractive and useful services. Finding the right combination of premium, coverage, and riders can be difficult for companies that have clients with long or complex medical histories. The problem is worse when there are mitigating circumstances that aren't always accounted for in existing calculations or risk analysis models.
Employing big data analytics can help create more flexible and dynamic models that account for a larger variety of factors. By combining predictive tools with visualization dashboards and powerful analytics, risk assessors can create a more comprehensive picture of a client's health and financial situation all while creating insurance plans that better suit their needs, are more likely to be paid, and finally used.
The healthcare industry is changing, and it is beginning to embrace technologies that will push it into the future. Big data analytics for smarter healthcare makes sense on several levels and can help professionals and companies make better decisions, improve their operations, and have healthier, happier clients. By adopting big data in key areas and exploring ways to consistently make data-driven decisions, healthcare professionals can do more than simply subsist and survive in the field; they can thrive. Using the right healthcare business intelligence can make the difference between satisfied patients and struggling hospitals.
Published at DZone with permission of Shelby Blitz, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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