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Turning Big Data into Better Care for Children

April 17, 2013

Seattle Children’s Hospital is a demonstrated leader in innovative research and therapies for children, as shown below in just a few of their most recent announcements.

One announcement you’re not as likely to see in the news is the health IT environment at Seattle Children’s, which has recently been enriched with sophisticated IBM PureData for Analytics capabilities at the foundation that are helping to enable some of these initiatives.

Seattle Children’s Hospital is a 254-bed hospital that serves a population across approximately five states for serious pediatric healthcare needs. The organization partners with other children’s hospitals throughout the world for ground-breaking research on childhood diseases.  That is why the new analytics system being put into place is so exciting.   

Because of the high volume of patients Seattle Children’s Hospital sees, it is important to move toward standards of care in order to ensure that all of the children that come in for care get the same level of treatment. With that in mind, the health IT team understands the need to take data from complex systems and put it into a standard data foundation to enable reliable health analytics.

It’s certainly not easy to do this in healthcare with the disparate systems that exist in silos across departments. Seattle Children’s is working hard to break the barrier and bring data together from different systems to create a longitudinal view of the patient across episodes of care, then compare that experience with other cohorts, looking at patients that followed the same path. By doing this, clinicians can identify commonalities in treatments for children and create new protocols that will result in improvements in treatment and overall outcomes, a win-win for all involved. For example, one clinician was able to answer 16 complex questions he had on an international intracranial facial program in just 20 minutes – something that was simply not possible weeks before.

The short video below provides some additional details about how the health IT team at Seattle Children’s Hospital is helping improve the foundation of data available for clinicians to ask more complex questions and uncover meaningful insights that truly can transform healthcare outcomes for the most fragile among us.  It’s about getting rich data into the hands of the people that need it, while also protecting patient privacy, securing access and ensuring high data quality.

For more information . . .