Healthcare is a field in which there’s traditionally been so much data available from different sources providers haven’t always known exactly how to harness it. But now with the availability of advanced healthcare data analytics platforms, plus a growing industry-wide acceptance of data as the wave of the future, healthcare providers are poised to capitalize on all the data they’re able to store — or, at least, competitive providers who hope to optimize their patients’ outcomes and grow their revenue streams.
Here are five advantages data-driven healthcare providers gain.
Improved Patient Outcomes
Healthcare providers are increasingly embracing value-based healthcare, in which patient outcomes measure performance rather than the volume of patients treated. To do so, clinician and administrators can turn to data to help make more informed decisions, that in turn fuel better patient outcomes.
According to Health Informatics from the University of Illinois at Chicago, here are just a few ways providers are using data to optimize patient care:
- Evaluating the performance and effectiveness of practitioners for more useful feedback
- Identifying patterns and trends pertaining to patient and population health over time
- Reducing unnecessary care
- Predicting patient risk for disease so as to intervene before serious problems develop
- Examining how outside factors — like patient behaviors, socio-economic status, and physical environment — interact with medical history
The bottom line? Better patient outcomes help healthcare providers secure more reimbursement for their services and improve patient ratings.
This all starts with a provider’s data strategy.
The Miami Children’s Health System deployed search-driven healthcare analytics from ThoughtSpot to give doctors, clinicians and hospital staffers direct access to patient, claims and operational data without having to wait for formal reports to hit their desks. Access to these data analytics tools has empowered decision-makers across the organization to ask questions and get answers in real time so they can make more informed decisions as they go. The eventual goal here is to improve patient care from every angle.
Lower Readmission Rates
One particularly noteworthy metric is a facility’s readmission rate, or how many patients make at least one subsequent hospital visit within a given timeframe like 30 days. Providers should always be aiming to prevent readmissions, as they’re very costly for the organization and are often linked with the quality of patient care — high readmission rates generally indicate there’s room for improvement in how providers are treating patients the first time around.
Data can help providers identify potential causes fueling high readmission rates and make targeted changes to the care they provide on the initial visit.
More Efficient Operations
It’s expensive to operate a healthcare facility, whether it’s a private practice or a large hospital. Even seemingly “small” chronic errors like redundant scheduling of staffers, slow turnover of patient exam/surgery rooms and chronic billing mistakes can add up significantly, dragging operations down to below-optimal levels.
Data can help healthcare providers analyze every facet of their operations and make improvements as necessary, identifying better workflows and streamlining processes across the board.
Speedier Insight into Treatment Results
Healthcare providers benefit from the ability to zoom out and get a big-picture view of how well treatments are working across patient segments and by condition. This helps practitioners understand what works and what doesn’t, so they can hone their recommendations and courses of treatment.
Lower Supply Chain Costs
Research has shown U.S. hospitals are collectively spending $25 billion more than needed on supply chain expenditures. Improving these processes using data analytics could potentially save hospitals nearly 18 percent.
It’s easy to rely on routine, especially when it comes to stocking up on supplies, predicting inventory needs and utilizing products. But identifying opportunities to improve these areas related to the supply chain can help healthcare providers stretch their budgets further and reduce waste without sacrificing the quality of care.
It’s clear data-driven healthcare providers can use analytics to gain competitive advantages in areas ranging from patient outcomes to cost reduction.