The transformation of healthcare will be data driven. Payers, health systems and other providers that embrace robust data and analytics and extreme interoperability can dramatically enhance their capacity to engage patients, support clinicians, enhance efficiencies, improve revenues, expand services and individualize the prediction, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illness and disease.
Other industries have already reinvented themselves by developing platforms that combine in-person service with digital technologies. Think of banking which was once a bureaucratic, brick-and-mortar enterprise, but today offers highly efficient and personalized services at the customer’s convenience.
As the volume of data expands exponentially, healthcare organizations must collect that information systematically and securely while enabling its accessibility.
Consider advanced data-driven organizations like Amazon, Google and Facebook. On the surface, they provide an array of services, devices and products. Fundamentally, however, they are in the business of collecting, curating and leveraging data. This gives them the capacity to understand and engage customers, improve processes, predict demand, develop new products and services, and study and enter new markets.
Healthcare is on the brink of a similar evolutionary leap. The technology for managing and utilizing healthcare data is already widely available and improving quickly. Now, new rulings by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) have expanded patient data access to providers, payers, third-party vendors and patients themselves. This will turbo-charge data sharing, care coordination and consumerism while leading to an explosion of new products and services.
To compete effectively in this age of liquid data, traditional healthcare organizations will need to step up their technological capabilities and adopt a new mindset. That starts with developing the systems and capacity to aggregate, store, standardize and protect massive data sets.
5 Capabilities that Enable Aggregation
Healthcare has long been rich in claims data, patient information and clinical data. Leading organizations are already tapping into alternative data streams, including societal, demographic and environmental data, consumer and marketing data and genetic and population health data. The volume of available healthcare data is unprecedented.
Some of these data streams are generated during normal workflow, others can be captured via monitoring devices, wearables, and technology platforms (like telemedicine) or purchased from proprietary sources. All data is valuable. It is a mistake to treat “irrelevant” data as exhaust. Data-focused companies compulsively collect and store all data, knowing that it might prove useful some day for unanticipated reasons.
As the volume of data expands exponentially, however, healthcare organizations must collect that information systematically and securely while enabling its accessibility. This requires developing robust capabilities in the following areas: