3 ways healthcare orgs use big data

Big data isn't all talk and buzzwords--CIO magazine recently highlighted several real-life cases of healthcare organizations that are using big data analytics to improve outcomes and reduce costs in a slideshow. The cases bridge traditional analytics and big data pushes with "rapid, agile insight delivery" to the point of decision. 

Here are three real-world cases of big data analytics featured in the slideshow:

  • Boston-based Partners HealthCare system--which includes Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospial and Harvard Medical School--uses big data to connect its finanical, operational and clinical analytics systems. To do so, it uses a Queriable Patient Inference Dossier, described as an "intelligence system for the EHR," that allows for real time queries, analytics and reports at the point of care. It has about 5,000 users so far.
  • Intermountain Healthcare, a Utah-based system of 22 hospitals and 185 health groups, has partnered with Deloitte to mine its more than 90 million patient EHRs for outcomes analysis with two programs--OutcomesMiner and PopulationMiner.
  • Researchers from Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center and the analytics firm Farsite made progress in reducing readmissions--they found heart patients skip rehabilitation appointments for reasons ranging from co-morbidities to transportation problems and lack of motivation. Based on those results, a trial program had patients family and influential friends send positive texts encouraging the patients to continue going to rehab.

Earlier this week the IBM Institute for Business Analytics released survey results showing that success in leveraging analytics starts at the top, including with the appointment of a chief analytics officer.

"In order to unlock the value of data, organizations need to identify different C-suite champions to get fully behind the use of analytics. Emerging roles like the chief data officer and the chief analytics officer are helping companies build an enterprise-wide data strategy to gain competitive advantage," said Fred Balboni, global leader and partner in the business analytics and optimization practice.

So far, though, health payers are more invested in the power of big data and analytics tools than providers, according a recent report.

While eight out of 10 payer IT decision-makers surveyed said up to 24 percent of their budgets were used on analytics technology; fewer than half (49 percent) of provider IT decision-makers chose a similar path. Nearly as many payers--77 percent--said they were investing similar amounts in big data technology, compared with 47 percent of providers.

For more information:
- view the CIO slideshow
- here's an overview of the IDC Health Insights report