Health / Pharma

Big Data’s Impact on Healthcare

There’s no measurement, there’s no improvement. Once upon a time, the data land-grab was a battlefield for the ownership of data-driven insights. Today, the explosion of big data signifies one of the biggest fundamental changes in the healthcare industry. Healthcare executives still fight for control of insights, but each one is facing never-before-seen torrents of data. This big data era has a sharp learning curve and provides numerous challenges for hospitals looking to create value and quality.
Hospital executives face a litany of efficiency challenges in administration, staff management, supply chain management and cost management. The tidal wave of data—patient registration, staff productivity measurement, supply chain spending and cost savings—pour in through every corner of the hospital management network. When it comes to matters of life and death, no healthcare provider wants to “pinch pennies.” But an exclusive focus on quality care can actually undermine healthcare provisions if it means turning a blind eye to cost. By fully utilizing data, hospital executives can gain insights and optimize resources and business processes to improve the bottom line and patient care. Healthcare is one of the most highly regulated industries. In many cases, hospitals have to comply with mandates required by different entities. For example, since 2000, the Ministry of Health in Singapore has required that all acute care public and private hospitals monitor a set of clinical quality indicators and benchmark these indicators against national and international norms. In the Philippines, public health managers use a checklist of 20 observable behaviors against which health workers in remote provinces were rated. The data, generated internally by patients, employees, and board members, and externally by government, suppliers, insurance companies, financial institutions and other partners, has been exploding. Its proliferation is so ubiquitous that hospitals sometimes have difficulty keeping up.

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