Big data drives better patient care, says Tennessee Blues chief data officer

Every day, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee pays more than 328,000 medical claims. But it doesn't just cut checks after approving treatments. The insurer is taking a new direction toward personalized care--and the strategy starts with the patient.

Chief Data and Engagement Officer Sherri Zink recently outlined how BCBS is using big data to drive personalized care, shifting focus from treatment to prevention.

"Our data-driven approach stretches from statewide population health strategies to customized solutions for employer groups and personalized messages that help individual members get the preventive care they need," she wrote in The Tennessean.

Zink explains that every contact with a patient is both a data point for evaluation and a learning experience for providing better care. BCBS announced BCBS Axis in September, which is the largest aggregated data resource which helps physicians understand both what health challenges exist in the community and how to tackle them.

"The power of data connects us back to our partners in the provider community as well," Zink adds.

Health databases are becoming more and more popular in the provider world. Axis is not the only provider that is working diligently to harness the power of health insurance claims data to improve care quality and control costs.

The proven power of providers, physicians and patients working together to improve healthcare can make it more affordable for everyone, and when all three components are combined with incentives for participation, clinical data and patient education resources, the future looks like a mighty healthy place.

To learn more:
- read Sherri Zink's Tennessean article
- Read more about BlueCross BlueSheild's Axis database

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