Lack of funding, skills hamper hamper health analytics efforts

Budget woes and a skills gap are preventing many healthcare organizations from fully harnessing analytics, according to a survey from healthcare informatics consulting firm CIC Advisory.

For a new report, "The State of Healthcare Analytics: Fifty Top Leaders Offer Their Perspective," healthcare executives were asked about the tools they use, the quality and use of data, their emphasis on strategy vs. tactics, and the availability of required skills, according to an announcement.

Among the findings:

  • Almost all respondents use multiple tools to help them achieve their objectives
  • Only half are satisfied with the tools they use--nearly 50 percent are lukewarm or disappointed with the tools available to them
  • Difficulty in integrating disparate systems is a major reason for not having a single enterprise solution for business intelligence and analytics
  • Most organizations do not have dedicated analytics/business intelligence teams, with analytics often a secondary or add-on responsibility in departments with resources already stretched thin
  • Struggling to find the right skills, many organizations rely on external consultants for analytics

Some of the challenges mentioned for using analytics included:

  • Lack of standardized data across systems
  • Silos of data
  • Integrating data from mobile devices, social media, and unstructured clinical notes
  • Lack of a system infrastructure to support analytics; and the cost of analytic software

Analytics has been touted for its broad potential in healthcare, from identifying diabetics in real time to reducing readmissions and providing personalized health recommendations.

However, IT hiring, particularly in informatics, has been tough. Health IT jobs grew by 167 percent between 2010 to 2012 in Atlanta, according to a recent report by the Metro Atlanta Chamber, with informatics positions by far the most sought-after skill despite the number of healthcare IT vendors located in the area.

To learn more:
- read the announcement
- here's the report (.pdf)
- check out the Atlanta report (.pdf)

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