Technology has disrupted all walks of life today and there is no sector left untouched by some type of disruptive tech. Healthcare is one of the fastest sectors to embrace technologies like big data and analytics to improve their services. However, only 10% have been able to use healthcare analytics to its fullest potential.
This offers the sector massive opportunities to leverage more value and drive insights from the data collected in all the systems over time. This analytics can streamline operations, identify bottlenecks in systems to fast-track care, and offer predictive insights to healthcare providers to deliver better care. No wonder, the global healthcare analytics market is expected to grow to $52.2 billion by 2026.
Before delivering further into the many benefits of healthcare analytics in managing and improving patient care, it is imperative to understand what this term means. In simplest terms, healthcare analytics means analyzing the data present with the systems within the healthcare industry to generate valuable insights. Technologies are put into place that collects It uses a combination of technologies like big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
It can bring numerous immediate benefits to the industry and help in offering value-based care to patients. One can use this data to predict trends, support evidence-based decisions, identify gaps in treatment, and much more.
Using the data fed into healthcare systems, healthcare providers can easily predict any risk, trends, and analyze what patient needs hospitalization.
Another way that health data analytics can improve patient care is by helping healthcare providers reduce patient waiting time. A great example of this is the healthcare consortium Kaiser Permanente that started overhauling its data operations in 2015. Today, they have become one of the leaders in using healthcare analytics to reduce patient wait time across its 39 hospitals and more than 700 medical offices.
They used data coming from their Operations Watch List, a healthcare mobile application that they developed as a part of their Insights Driven program. This app collected data from the electronic health record and provided a real-time view of the throughout metrics like bed demand & availability, hospital census, patient discharge, etc. This information was used by them to highlight the bottlenecks in front of the hospital management and get their attention on the matters. They have been able to reduce wait time for admission into the emergency ward and brought it down to 27 minutes on average. In addition, the health data analytics offered by the healthcare app also allowed to reduce time spent on manual activities to around 323 minutes per month.
Another great way that health data analytics helps in managing and improving patient care is by offering predictive analytics. Unnecessary hospitalizations cause a shortage of beds, longer wait times, wasted emergency staff efforts & time, and added costs. This could negatively affect the healthcare institution, patient, and insurer. Moreover, the unavailability of beds could affect the health of patients that actually need help.
This technology can help analyze the patient’s health and determine the level of care they require and if hospitalization is a must or not. In many cases, patients only need some care from doctors and can be sent home for rest. Using data analytics to assess a patient’s health, previous history, and relating it to a variety of factors, one can predict the level of risk and observation required.
By integrating analytics-driven technology into healthcare, providers can improve care. A large portion of what drives the outcomes and trends in a healthcare system today lies outside the purview of traditional health care. The past year reshaped the healthcare sector and taught it to be more inclined towards technology and use the data collected by its numerous systems to drive value.
What matters, in the end, is to provide value to the patients and improve patient care to ensure the healthcare sector is able to live up to its expectations. By incorporating health data analytics, the service providers and leaders can use the collected data to have actionable insights from data collected over years as well as real-time data fed into systems. It can more accurately allocate the available resources, provide immediate care to high-risk patients, and reduce the wait time to admit or test patients.
And that would just be the top-tier benefits for patient care. In addition to that, health data analytics can help in reducing operational costs, increase performance, and help enhance compliance or monitor metrics and performance of the caregivers.
While a majority of the providers in the healthcare sector have embraced technology, 2021 would be the year when digitalization would take the front foot. Many will be seen developing their digital product in the market to collect more data from their patients. This data will then be used to get data-driven insights into improving systems, delivering better care, and developing a better strategy to enhance patient care.
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