Most of the time, when business leaders think about the value of big data analytics in healthcare, they focus first and foremost on fine-tuning their internal processes. It's about optimising workflow within the medical facility, improving conditions for employees and perhaps adjusting the organisation's long-term financial outlook. All of this is worthwhile, but it might be overlooking the question that's really important – what about patient health?
The real goal in healthcare is to improve outcomes for the patients you're treating.
At the end of the day, that's the real goal in healthcare – you want to improve outcomes for the patients you're treating. And among some analytics leaders, there's a sense of optimism that this is doable. If health experts are willing to examine past treatment strategies and their results, they just might find notable trends that help them modify their approach for next time.
How data can bolster public health
While many in the healthcare consulting world are focused on improving workflows internally for the industry's employees, there is an increasing level of focus these days on bringing improvement directly to the patients.
Data can help with this. According to the Department of Finance and Deregulation, there are several ways in which analytics can help bring about better patient care:
- Examining trends: One key strategy is to look at overall trends, both in local communities and nationwide, and look for large-scale health issues that should be addressed.
- Evaluating public policy: It's important that publicly available resources, such as health clinics, be optimised. With limited funds available for public health programs, eliminating wasted spending is key.
- Determining future data collection: There's no shortage of data available that might play a role in evaluating people's health, including some from new sources like social media sites and mobile apps. A primary challenge today is deciding how best to collect information for tomorrow.
All sorts of organisations, both public and private, have an opportunity to use data for furthering patient health. For this to happen, they must move their focus away from internal workflow and focus on people instead.
What it takes to implement BI
Getting real results from analytics requires sifting through large volumes of data using elaborate enterprise solutions. This can be a complicated process. Information Age Magazine advises that when delving into business intelligence (BI), it's good to start with a clear vision. What, specifically, is your organisation hoping to achieve through analysing data? If you have precise questions you're looking to answer and a methodology in mind, the process is more digestible.
It's also important to note that effective use of BI, especially in healthcare where there are many stakeholders involved, requires a collaborative effort. Such an initiative should begin with support from upper-level management, ideally including a willingness to commit funding and manpower.
Consulting can drive analytics improvement
The process of improving patient health through analytics is likely to be slow, with growth coming one small increment at a time. When progress is sluggish, it's easy to get discouraged, but that might mean your organisation just needs some guidance from BI experts who can help you take the long view and maintain perspective. At AtoBI, we are prepared to offer that guidance. We have a team of solution consulting experts who know what it takes to see a data analysis project through to completion.
Above all, our team values good listening. We are eager to sit down with you, listen to the challenges your organisation is facing and help you design solutions. The road from data collection to better patient health might be long and winding, but we can help you navigate it. Reach out to us today, and we can begin that journey.