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Toasting information governance: To your health!

May 21, 2014

I recently had an opportunity to speak to a group about the value of information governance in a world of big data, and one of the best received stories was from the healthcare industry. Individuals in the audience from other industries clearly understood the issues related to poor data quality and data duplication that apply in almost any industry (wasted resources, poor customer service and lack of confidence in analytics), but could also appreciate the special concerns in healthcare, where poor data quality or data duplication could prevent a clear view of a patient, that patient’s prescriptions, diagnoses and treatments and could lead to increased risk of undesired outcomes.

It’s no wonder that organizations involved in healthcare are seeking important benefits from data governance: more efficient operations, rapid compliance with regulations, a 360 degree view of patients and improved health for their patients. Fortunately, many organizations are enjoying those benefits.

From the healthcare provider side, one example is Dignity Health, which supports 56,000 caregivers and staff serving diverse communities across a 21-state network. Dignity wanted to support information governance, compliance and electronic health records management while simultaneously reducing costs. Implementing an enterprise-wide decommissioning program to retire costly applications and support test data management requirements, Dignity was able to recover 2.4 TB of storage and decommission 390 servers in the first year, yielding $2M in savings.

From the healthcare payer side, an example is Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC), which has integrated and consolidated member data into a single source of truth to provide a consistent customer experience. Customers and business users are now gaining access to needed information at a low cost and in a time frame that exceeds their expectations.

The white paper Big Data Integration and Governance Considerations for Healthcare, by Sunil Soares of Information Asset, LLC, provides a detailed look at three examples of information governance delivering critical benefits affecting patient health:

  • A pilot program leveraging big data analytics to reduce the readmission rate of patients with congestive heart failure
  • The analysis of streaming data to monitor the health of babies in neonatal intensive care units
  • A medical intervention approach to identify individuals with previously undetected diabetes based on multivariate analysis of very large datasets

IBM InfoSphere Information Integration and Governance offerings contribute to all these solutions. Information governance: It’s good for your health!

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