Monday, June 20, 2011

Data alone does not result in better healthcare

Healthcare organizations are increasingly gathering data about clinical activities within their electronic health records (EHRs) and other systems which is intended to improve the quality of care. However, simply focusing on logging this data is not sufficient to bring about truly positive change in the quality and cost effectiveness of healthcare.

This point, which ultimately relates to treating providers and patients as highly valued customers, is at the heart of the next major wave of change healthcare truly needs. The first phase of this change, which has been underway for more than a decade, is to gather data electronically.  Phase two - where the real benefit comes in - is to actually begin transforming that data into meaningful information that can be accessed in real-time by individuals who can use it to make better decisions.  This can be as simple as automatically recognizing a patient and retrieving their registration information so they don't have to re-register (the most irritating part of the healthcare process for most people) or as sophisticated as matching a patient's DNA profile with a known disease that individual is predisposed to getting in order to preempt what could potentially be a fatal outcome before symptoms are present.  

A recent HIMSS 2011 Clinical Transformation Survey provides results that support this view. Solutions such as hc1.com (a product developed by Bostech) are designed to tap into these disparate stores of data and generate meaningful, tailored information that can improve the quality of care.

Embracing clinical improvement but still need data analysis tools (WTN News): "Healthcare organizations are embracing the need for information transparency to drive clinical transformation, but they still require the tools and capabilities to make data available in real time and reduce the burden on scarce resources. These are among the key findings from the HIMSS 2011 Clinical Transformation Survey"

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