Do You Have a Healthcare Big Data Strategy?


December 19th, 2019

To leverage the power of data, you will need a healthcare big data strategy. Find out how big data is changing in the industry and how to build a strategy.

healthcare big data

In the age of data, healthcare organizations are facing many challenges. First, there’s the sheer quantity of data. Then there are concerns about how to aggregate it and analyze it. These quandaries are further complicated by security and compliance regulations. Having a healthcare big data strategy is a prudent move by any organization. Even if you currently have one, it may be time to revisit it.

What Is Healthcare Big Data?

Healthcare big data refers to the vast amounts of information created by the digitization of all aspects of the industry. That data is then consolidated and analyzed with technological tools.

Healthcare has become exponentially more complex as we live longer, which is a shift in treatment models. Data makes this possible. Healthcare data analytics can improve prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

Why Is Healthcare Big Data Important?

Much of its value comes down to reducing costs. The U.S. spends more than twice on health care per person than is peers. It’s not because the U.S. has more sick people. Rather these inflated costs are mostly due to drug costs, clinician salaries, hospital administration, and increasing medical services fees.

Data can help reign in costs, and healthcare systems have more incentive to use insights to facilitate better care. That’s because of the shift from fee for service to pay for outcomes.

Big data has multiple real-world applications in healthcare, including:

  • Understanding peak times to staff better
  • Helping prevent opioid abuse
  • Enhancing patient engagement
  • Research projects for cancer and other diseases
  • Using predictive analytics
  • Reducing fraud
  • Enhancing data security
  • Practicing telemedicine
  • Integrating medical imaging for more precise diagnoses
  • Preventing unnecessary ER visits

Investing in Big Data Initiatives and Tools

In a recent survey by Deloitte Insights, the healthcare industry has become highly invested in big data unlocking value. The survey found that 70% of respondents have a defined analytics strategy, compared with only 40% in 2015. The survey also revealed that health systems are willing to invest in data scientists, visualization designers, and data architects.

Healthcare Big Data Strategy: Becoming Data First

For any organization that wants to leverage their data, they must build a roadmap to being data first. Data analytics should become the backbone of healthcare. Employing new tools such as machine learning and artificial intelligence will be necessary as well. These tools help you manage data and provide you with a fundamental analysis plan that can then turn into actionable insights.

What’s Driving the Big Data Revolution?

The biggest driver for embracing big data in healthcare is to improve patient care and outcomes. This objective includes population health management. Interpreting a large amount of healthcare data has the potential to spot population health trends, which can help healthcare systems shape their response to emerging risks.

How Can You Develop or Improve Your Strategy?

Having a big data strategy is critical to reaping the benefits that data brings. While this is an evolving concept, there are still some fundamental things you can put in place for better data management.

  • Data aggregation: you probably have data from multiple sources, including EHRs and other systems. To be data first, you need a single hub to combine all data sources.
  • Interoperability: are your systems able to communicate with one another? If not, then this could impede your ability to learn from your data.
  • AI and machine learning tools: while data scientists are exceptional at interpretation, they can’t do the volume of analysis like these technology resources can.
  • Real-time information: looking back at data to predict is one part of your strategy, but you also need to have the ability to have access to real-time data for in the moment decisions.
  • Business intelligence opportunities: use your data to fuel better decision-making regarding your operations, patient engagement, and more.
  • Security and privacy measures: your data strategy must include how you’ll keep data safe from breaches and compliant with HIPAA.

Big data in healthcare has the capability to boost patient outcomes, streamline workflows, and improve operations. Need a big data strategy or have big data challenges? Chat with our experts to see how we can help.

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