Experience and gut instinct are important factors in decision making, but in the healthcare sector, the need for data-driven decisions is just as critical, if not more so. Considering the ultimate end goal for this often cloudy and convoluted industry – patient health – it is imperative for healthcare organizations to consistently make better data-driven decisions to ensure optimal patient outcomes.
Healthcare is forced into customer-centricity. Technologies that focus on improving customer experience and in engaging patients via multiple touch points (education, demonstrating value, personalization, superior customer service) have seen massive gains. Anthem, a healthcare insurance company, saw a 36% increase in return on assets over the four-year period after restructuring.
As healthcare enterprises look outwards to improve customer experience, they are looking inwards to know their data better. Two main challenges Data-Centric Healthcare providers face are Data Accessibility by their Customers and Managing internal Data Complexity.
Recent research demonstrates that healthcare providers are managing an average of nine different data sources. All too often the data is so spread out and disparate that it can’t be accessed in a timely way. Additionally, data accessibility isn’t just about what can be accessed; it’s about where it can be accessed. More than ever before, clinical decision makers are looking for better access to data at the point-of-care, and they need better technology to do so.
Healthcare businesses need to access and share a patient’s medical records (medication, health problems and lab results) electronically, timely and securely whether it is a direct exchange, query-based exchange or consumer-mediated exchange. More so, patients can access their health records, on-demand and avoid readmissions, duplicate testing and fatal medications errors.
Appropriate, timely sharing of vital patient information can better inform decision making at the point of care and allow providers to
- Avoid readmissions
- Avoid medication errors
- Improve diagnoses
- Decrease duplicate testing
Digital imaging from radiology, EKG machines, and other systems are creating larger file sizes that not only take up space but are difficult to search and maintain. More medical research, physician’s notes, and other text-based information are appearing in unstructured digital formats. More recently, there is increasing streaming data from medical devices and systems in the healthcare Internet of Things (IoT). At the end of the day, data volume is a challenge, but the disparity and complexity of the data are even more so.
Care delivery is changing. Technology is in the center of it. Managing Data Complexity requires Healthcare providers to embrace the newer technologies. The healthcare industry has been struggling with traditional databases for years now. They are good for handling structured data; they cannot handle information such as clinician notes, transcripts and other unstructured data as easily. Technology solutions based on non-relational databases are better suited to bypass the rigid structure and analyze many different forms of data together.
Marrying Customer-Centricity with Data-Centricity
Healthcare organizations should avoid making the common mistake of adopting technologies individually, as point solutions, rather than exploring how they work together. The best value for all of these will be when they are applied in coordination with one another, or in coordination with services delivered by human beings.
A Master Data Management solution creates a customer-centric data management strategy that helps healthcare service providers to sell a relationship above everything else. Master data management solution, brings disparate data sources together as a centralized hub and a single-point of entry system for the aggregation, management, and distribution of healthcare master data.
Master data management solutions enable access of consistent data across the healthcare enterprise. The framework provides access to critical information that helps healthcare professionals connect with warmth and compassion and offer simple and straightforward answers at every point-of-care.
A Cloud-based multidomain MDM platform built on open source technologies, NoSQL and Graph technologies supports large amounts of structured and unstructured data. Data discovery eases the complexity of data management, a Directed MDM guides the enterprise to manage critical data, and Data Visualization brings insights between patients, products, equipment and suppliers.
image credit: @jeisblack, @gabrielizgi
Read more about the other challenges in healthcare at: www.aberdeenessentials.com