Health IT Pulse

Jun 11 2013   11:02AM GMT

Experts to form healthcare analytics group

Alex Delvecchio Alex Delvecchio Profile: Alex Delvecchio

Big Data
Supply Chain Management

A group of data analytics experts will meet in Washington, D.C., to explore how to best use predictive analytics to benefit patients. The Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation, based in Dallas, received a grant from the San Francisco-based George and Betty Moore Foundation to form the collaboration to improve patient outcomes and costs.

Analytics has been suggested before as a way to improve the healthcare system. Allowing more people to access a greater amount of information is only useful to a point because receiving too much information can be overwhelming. Determining what sets of data are worth analyzing and what data can be reviewed more broadly is one way to focus healthcare analytics. Ideally, analytics data will present a problem and a solution to a particular aspect of patient care. If not, the data may not be worth analyzing.

Analytics is affecting the healthcare supply chain, in addition to its uses for studying patient data. Analytics systems can study materials shipped a hospitals and determine ways to cut costs or ship more efficiently. An analytics system can also restrict hospital employees from ordering products from companies with which the hospital doesn’t have a contract, which saves the hospital money.

An Institute for Health Technology Transformation (iHT2) report cites the combination of EHRs and data analytics as the best way to use big data in healthcare. Deploying this strategy is a timely issue because an Oracle poll says healthcare organizations are gathering 85% more data than they did two years ago. Properly leveraging big data through analytics can help the healthcare industry earn more than $300 billion yearly, iHT2 estimates.

“Use of predictive analytics in routine clinical care holds great promise. It could lead clinicians and health systems to zero in on discrete subsets of patients, dramatically reducing resource consumption while simultaneously improving patient outcomes,” Gabriel Escobar, M.D., senior research director at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California division of research and co-leader of the session, said in a release about the new analytics collaboration.

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