KLAS: Analytics vendors still struggle to meet healthcare providers' needs

For healthcare organizations seeking to move to the next level of analytics technology, vendors are struggling to improve usability and provide robust functionality, according to a new KLAS report, "Healthcare Analytics: Making Sense of the Puzzle Pieces."

The report looks at technology from cross-industry vendors such as IBM, SAP, SAS and Microsoft, as well as healthcare-specific vendors such as Allscripts, McKesson, athenahealth, Cerner and Epic.

With organizations' expectations rising for finding better uses of their data, there is still a notable discrepancy between what most vendors deliver and what providers require.

"The pressure is mounting," said Joe Van De Graaff, report author, in an announcement. "Providers see analytics as a strategic compass for the changing healthcare world ahead, and their need for better results and better ways to understand outcomes through data analytics and BI is critical."

The global healthcare analytics market has been projected to be worth more than $21 billion by 2020, with clients including healthcare providers, health information exchanges and accountable care organizations, according to a new report from MarketsandMarkets.

The KLAS report cites data security issues, cultural barriers to IT adoption and a lack of skilled workers in analytics among the barriers.

Pointing out that use of big data is still in its infancy across many healthcare organizations, the ECRI Institute report, "Top 10 Hospital C-Suite Watch List," lists big data among technology to watch. ECRI Institute's Diane Robertson described the technologies as "not a list of 'must-haves,' but rather a 'must think carefully about' list." The report warns that many systems are focused only on decreasing costs and not actually on improving patient flow.

Big data could help U.S. citizens save as much as $450 billion in healthcare costs, according to consulting firm McKinsey & Co., but most hospitals are finding that using the data effectively is a significant challenge.

The results of a survey from the eHealth Initiative and the College of Health Information Management Executives are similar to those of a healthsystemCIO.com poll in which 52 percent of responding hospital CIOs said that though they're using big data tools, they weren't doing so at a "sophisticated level." Sixty-six percent cited lack of manpower or skills as the biggest barrier to use of analytical tools at a higher level.

To learn more:
- find the report
- here's the announcement

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