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May 23, 2017

Healthcare Data: What To Do With It All?

We have entered the age of data overload. In just two years, from 2011 to 2013, we generated 90% of all data in the history of the world. And much of it is just the click of a button or touch of a screen away.

The healthcare industry is inundated with data. It is used to solve deadly diseases, treat serious illnesses, and identify vulnerable populations.

The new waves of data are a good thing for healthcare; the information and analysis conducted can offer insights to help clinicians and caregivers enhance their care. The ability to leverage the different forms of information can: 

  • Enhance the patient experience of care
  • Improve the health of populations
  • And reduce the cost health care, to name a few.

An increase in data, however, also comes with its fair share of challenges. The issue comes not with the amount of data, but what to do with all of it. 

As the amounts of data have mushroomed through the years, our ways to absorb and utilize this information have only inched forward. And due to the private nature of healthcare data, destroying the information presents both a risk and a challenge, meaning that the data gets compounded annually. With EHRs, providers and health systems receive a constant influx of information that they need to collect, sift through, and extract meaning.

Avoiding information overload and finding timely materials to provide better care is about having the right tools to help clinicians filter the numbers and get exactly what they need, when they need it. EHRs attempted to solve this by making patient health records more accessible, but challenges of interoperability still lead to duplicate information in EHR systems. For this reason, organizations are changing the way healthcare providers receive and use data.

Just recently, the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation was given the Health Devices Achievement Award by the ECRI Institute in recognition for their efforts to help their providers avoid data overload. Penn’s platform scours the mounds of EHR data to help stratify patients and determine interventions, and then delivers the information through multiple channels to let providers choose what is most convenient for them. 

Penn’s platform solves the data overload problem by giving providers their time back. With EHRs, providers face the task of monitoring multiple data sources within records where they are forced to manually pull data to check for changes or updates. This process takes physicians away from their patients and can lead to missed updates or delays in care.

Real-time data helps providers sort through the numbers by providing the most critical information at the time it is needed. Our platform is one such tool that gives providers notifications about where patients are receiving care as soon as they check-in. With a variety of filters, providers can find pertinent information about patients, like if they are high-utilizers, and helps promote collaboration between providers who can help each other sift through the data and give patients better care. 

The growth of healthcare information and data will continue, especially as data continues to fuel innovation. As we continue moving toward a more connected healthcare system, healthcare providers need health data management tools in place to take advantage of available information without becoming victims to data overload. With good data management and analytics, we can ensure that healthcare organizations, and their patients, are wired for success. 

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Tagged: healthcare data, patient data, health information

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