Healthcare Organizations Go Big For Analytics - InformationWeek

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Healthcare // Clinical Information Systems
05:18 PM

Healthcare Organizations Go Big For Analytics

Half of providers and payers see advanced analytics as their top investment priority, says IDC survey.

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Healthcare care providers and health plan organizations involved in accountable care consider analytics applications their top investment priority, according to a new report by IDC Health Insights.

In IDC's survey of 40 hospitals and 30 insurers, 50% of respondents said their highest investment priority was advanced analytics. Forty-six percent were placing their chips on data warehousing, which is closely associated with the use of analytics.

The latter figure is higher than that in a 2011 survey by HIMSS Analytics, which found that only 30% of healthcare providers had data warehouses. But the IDC number includes health insurers, most of whom have data warehouses, noted Cynthia Burghard, IDC's research director of accountable care IT strategies, in an interview with Information Week Healthcare.

Moreover, only organizations involved in building accountable care organizations or patient-centered medical homes were included in the IDC survey. The hospitals among those respondents would be more likely than the average provider to have a data warehouse, she said.

[ How are healthcare organizations encouraging patients to take the reins? See our slideshow 7 Portals Powering Patient Engagement. ]

The explosion of interest in analytics, Burghard observed, can be attributed to the emergence of new care delivery models that focus on population health management. "You can't do that if you don't know who your patients are and what their characteristics are," she said.

The types of data that the respondents said were needed to deliver appropriate preventive and chronic care to patients included claims (57%), clinical structured data (73%), and care management data (70%).

Healthcare providers are "just starting to learn how to use clinical data coming out of EHRs" for analytic purposes, Burghard pointed out. But they can already get some valuable information on their patients from claims data. "When they're working with the payers, the payers are providing them with claims data, at least for their population," she said.

In fact, "claims is the dominant source of data" for healthcare analytics today, she said, although it's usually mixed with clinical and other data.

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User Rank: Apprentice
12/27/2013 | 2:28:20 PM
re: Healthcare Organizations Go Big For Analytics
Big Data and Analytics could be the next EHR Boondoogle...see:

Frank Poggio

The Kelzon Group
User Rank: Apprentice
3/21/2013 | 7:03:04 PM
re: Healthcare Organizations Go Big For Analytics
Healthcare providers are starting to realize how important and useful big data and data analytics can be for them. Gathering information on their patients, getting to know their target demographics, and analyzing the data are tools that help identify at risk patients and take a proactive approach to their healthcare. Using not only data collected from their own EHR systems but also from a multitude of sources like insurance companies and telephone apps also allows them to gather a wider range of data on their patients and will be very useful in big data analytics.

Jay Simmons
Information Week Contributor
User Rank: Apprentice
3/21/2013 | 2:21:20 PM
re: Healthcare Organizations Go Big For Analytics
It should not be lost to any dedicated Healthcare institution that the major presumption of this article and Organizations' actions is that claims data is accurate and reliable. In the public healthcare management environment, it is clear that the data is corrupted by criminal fraud, waste and abuse to such an extent that CMS must pay almost $1Billion per year to make sure it does not make "improper payments". If there is an example of a comprehensive claims data base (even in the private sector) satisfying the requirements of "analytics" I would like to know who possessess that data and how access to it for purely R&D interests might be obtained. In fact, I would be surprised if any private sector claims payment organization had its valid, relaible, multi-year data for its own clients.
I do not argue that claims data is available at massive levels (exabytes) annually, but most analysts know (mostly as an inside joke) that such data is corrupted to the extent that statistical and analytical techniques cannot be effectively employed because basic data assumptions for use of such technigues cannot be satisfied.
Just because there exists a lot of data does not mean it should be used, on the other hand, as we see today, this is no prohibition that the data can not be used.
Nathan Golia
Nathan Golia,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/19/2013 | 5:25:35 PM
re: Healthcare Organizations Go Big For Analytics
Interesting that a cross-healthcare observer sees insurance claims as the largest source of healthcare analytics data today. It makes sense, though G claim data should provide a very accurate view of both individual and population healthcare usage trends, which can help control costs and identify areas that can be addressed proactively to reduce expensive treatments later.
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