Currently, the healthcare industry generates over 30% of the world’s data each year, the most of any industry. By 2025, the compound annual growth rate of data production is projected to reach 36%—faster than any other industry.
Much of this healthcare data will continue to come from sources that were unimaginable just a few decades ago, including widespread video visit utilization, medically enabled wearables for any part of the body, and at-home health devices and monitors. Add this new influx of data to the existing mass already collected in healthcare (in-person visits, surveys, claims data, and more), and it’s easy to see why the industry is swimming in an ocean of information.
To harness this diverse data for the enhancement of care nationwide, healthcare practices need to start investing in healthcare data analytics technology that can integrate information from various sources, analyze and prioritize it effectively, and generate meaningful, actionable insights.
Shortcomings in healthcare IT have negative implications across billing and accounting; clinical efficiency and decision-making; administration and daily operations; and staff management and turnover trends—just to name a handful. On the flip side, a robust IT strategy can support and further initiatives to:
- Improve patient outcomes
- Improve public health surveillance
- Improve health care policy decisions
- Increase performance visibility
- Decrease care costs
- Increase patient and staff satisfaction
For healthcare practices specifically, effective integration, analysis, and application of quality, financial, clinical, and productivity data can help you enhance patient care, save money, and optimize workflow. The key is a solid data analysis solution that allows you to see actionable trends in your data to make informed decisions. Let’s dig deeper into these three primary benefits.
#1 Improve patient care and experience
Insight into patients’ health-related habits
One of the main ways providers are receiving patient data now is via remote patient monitoring, which offers real-time updates on patient metrics, including blood pressure, oxygen levels, and temperature. With the right analytics tools in place, all of these data points can be used to further understanding of patients’ unique lifestyles, habits, and care situations in order to make better recommendations and deliver holistic support.
Empower patients to embrace agency
The rise of patient portals and patient engagement in care planning has created the perfect situation to use data analysis and automation. With these capabilities, providers can set up reminders and push notifications about recurring patient tasks (monthly breast exams, seasonal tick checks, etc.), use patient inputs to generate customized education modules, and triage patient questions more effectively—just to name a few applications.
Opportunities to close gaps in care
Patient data from a variety of sources can also serve as valuable input for risk models and predictive analytics to help address health disparities and close gaps in care. This could look like assessing length of stay to minimize hospital stay without sacrificing safety or using ED data to identify frequent flyers and set them on a more supportive care path. It could also look like using community health metrics and SDOH data to observe health outcome trends among groups and create effective outreach strategies.
Improved diagnoses and outcomes
Artificial intelligence can be useful in consolidating and finding trends in research data, population health data, and EHR data to inform clinicians’ diagnostic abilities. In some cases, AI is even able to use this information alongside machine learning capabilities to make independent diagnoses of early-stage diseases.
#2 Save practice resources
Cut down on unnecessary spending
By using data analytics to understand population needs better, provider practices can be proactive in care planning and community outreach. Predictive capabilities can also help clinicians identify patients at risk of admission or readmission. Together, these initiatives can eliminate unnecessary costs by getting ahead of health issues and keeping visits in a lower acuity setting.
Forecast need and demand
Data analytics can support practices by pulling in the variables critical to understanding and optimizing resources (both human and material). By identifying patterns and predicting needs, data analytics can help clinicians eliminate waste, improve staffing, and streamline the supply chain.
Data breaches can be extremely costly—both financially and logistically. With superior trend assessment and fraud tracking capabilities, practices can rest assured that their data is safe from cybercrimes.
#3 Optimize workflow
Reduce clinician burden
Despite the promises of EHRs to reduce workload, many providers feel more overwhelmed than ever. Advanced analytics can help identify themes within EHR messaging and triage responses and related tasks to the most appropriate team member.
Leaders are observing significant strides in clinical efficiency as a result of implementing powerful data analytics. Predictive appointment modeling, AI-enabled scheduling support, and easy-to-use data dashboards put insights at your fingertips, allowing your practice team members to focus on higher-order tasks and make quicker, more effective decisions for both the business and the patients.
Rather than searching around through the EHR and other technology to get the data and insights needed to make informed decisions, analytics can unite all critical information into a single view. With fewer platforms to visit, passwords to input, and functions to remember, clinicians and staff can access data more easily and apply it more seamlessly.
Healthcare practices have access to more data than ever, but are they making the most of it with healthcare data analytics? Typically, the answer is no.
Provider practices are often too busy to capitalize on the available data or too concerned about spending on the technology necessary to generate actionable insights from that information. Innovative healthcare data analytics tools like ours make it easier to explore your vast amounts of data and use it to make data-based decisions—without hiring a skilled data analyst team. Leverage our powerful data analysis tools and team of collaborative experts to uncover workflow optimization opportunities in your practice.