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Next-Gen Health Analytics Requirements Unclear

Healthcare organizations know they need analytic software tailored to accountable care organization operations and population health management -- but they're not sure where to get it, finds KLAS survey.

just who has the best tools, but who can I trust to deliver incrementally on projects and needs throughout?"

That might be why Epic stands out among the vendors of electronic health records and related tools as a vendor hospitals are looking to for ACO analytics. Analytics and reporting have traditionally been seen as among Epic's weaknesses -- ones it has been working to shore up -- but the hospitals who have invested in Epic tend to trust it to deliver a complete set of software products for their clinical and business needs, he says. They also trust Epic's software and services to reflect a better understanding of clinical data than those of cross-industry competitors.

For analytics to support ACOs, Epic got the most mentions, ahead of McKesson, SAP, Optum, The Advisory Board, Siemens, and Tableau. (Tableau is in the running largely because of its ability to visualize data to communicate to management.) For population health analytics, the top-ranked player was Optum, followed closely by McKesson, The Advisory Board, Cerner, Epic, and Explorys. Population health tools are used to monitor patients, particularly ones with chronic diseases, identifying those who have missed appointments or failed to keep up with their medications.

For help with big data analytics, healthcare leaders were more likely to look to major system vendors, with IBM, Oracle, and SAP in the first rank, followed by a mix of BI and healthcare-specific vendors who all scored about the same, including Dimensional Insight, Health Catalyst, Information Builders, McKesson, Microsoft, Optum, and SAS.

For BI consulting help, survey participants were most likely to turn to Cerner, Deloitte, Encore, Accenture, and The Advisory Board. But BI consulting to healthcare is fragmented. Out of the 29 firms mentioned as potential standouts, the top three got just three mentions each.

The differing lists of vendors mentioned for each technology category is interesting, given that many of these technologies overlap. Using population health analytics to deliver more proactive care is important to the success of an ACO, and big-data analytics factor into population health.

"If we were to look at accountable care and population health, we wouldn't come up with a scientific distinction between the two," Van De Graff says. Because this was a study of perceptions, respondents were free to make their own distinctions between the categories, he says. Some might have been from organizations that aren't participating in an ACO per se but are involved in other risk and value-based contracts requiring population health management, he says.

ACOs might also turn out to have differing analytic needs from other healthcare organizations, he says. "Health providers are trying to figure that out right now. I would say that on the financial side, the requirements of accountable care and population health are largely not understood or recognized today. That may be why there's such fragmentation in terms of mindshare for vendors in this market."

Download Healthcare IT in the Obamacare Era, the InformationWeek Healthcare digital issue on the impact of new laws and regulations. Modern technology created the opportunity to restructure the healthcare industry around accountable care organizations, but IT priorities are also being driven by the shift.

David F. Carr oversees InformationWeek's coverage of government and healthcare IT. He previously led coverage of social business and education technologies and continues to contribute in those areas. He is the editor of Social Collaboration for Dummies (Wiley, Oct. 2013) and ... View Full Bio

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User Rank: Apprentice
5/5/2014 | 11:45:06 AM
Healthcare automatic analytics
I know a special analytic technology/product that can probably be used for that.

The good news is also that you wont need special Data-Experts. a trained Healthcare employee, or one member of the IT team, can operate and use it.
David F. Carr
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
5/2/2014 | 9:52:02 AM
Analytics for health and prevention?
Do you have a story to tell about applying analytics to the more proactive delivery of healthcare?
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