Attaching Meaning to Data with Health Analytics

Industry Marketing Manager, Healthcare and Life Sciences

I was curious if there were any updated stats on the number of healthcare organizations that are currently using analytics as part of their strategy to improve health outcomes, prevent disease and engage patients more effectively. I ran across a 2012 study from CHIME and eHealth Initiative that included some interesting insights that tell me we still have a long way to go.

  • 77% of surveyed CIOs said that their healthcare organizations are using data analytics software. However – only 28% said their organizations have what it takes to meet analytics requirements.
  • Clinician utilization and outcomes was reported by 30% as being the most important use of data. However – financial management was the No. 1 reported actual use, followed by operational efficiency and reporting on national quality measures.

Despite these stats, I’m still optimistic. After all, the opportunity in healthcare to leverage data to derive useful insights is virtually limitless. Take Centerstone Research, Inc. (CRI), a provider of behavioral health and substance abuse treatment for 70,000 patients in Indiana and Tennessee. Tom Doub, currently the CEO of Centerstone and Casey Bennet, CRI’s chief data architect embedded intelligence into Centerstone’s clinical decision making practices to identify which services would be most effective per individual patient by analyzing patterns over time. With the new clinical decision support system, Centerstone is able to provide about 30% more patient care with the same amount of resources and staff. They have also seen a 25% increase in treatment plan compliance. You can learn more about what Centerstone is doing by attending an IBM breakfast during the Healthcare Analytics Symposium in Chicago on July 17.

Another favorite example of mine is Optum Insight, the information analytics arm of United Health Group. At the 2012 StrataRx conference, Tina Brown-Stevenson shared how advanced analytics is being used to understand the natural history of disease. This program using in-database analytics, analyzes clinical and demographic data as well as patterns of care leading up to disease, and applies the algorithms to patients who may be at risk of developing a disease like diabetes. This type of information can be shared with wellness providers to orchestrate targeted outreach for preventative treatment or programs. I’m looking forward to learning and sharing some additional stories at the upcoming 2013 StrataRx conference in Boston.

Many other healthcare providers like Fletcher Allen and Seattle Children’s Hospital are leveraging enterprise health analytics and big data technology to understand risks within patient populations, extract insights to take targeted action, provide service-line analytics in the E.D., understand the total cost of care and execute meaningful reports for the Medicare Shared Savings Program and ACO 33.

So, the opportunity in healthcare is limitless…

Unfortunately, in many cases this huge opportunity is creating a bit of a problem, which is knowing where to start and delivering a return on investment in a reasonable amount of time. With our years of experience in working with healthcare organizations around the world, IBM has packaged a Health Analytics Quick Start solution that includes pre-integrated technology and services targeted to specific use cases including ACO 33 or total cost of care. The package includes core analytics technology that help you get started quickly, achieve results within your organization and build on the platform for future analytics initiatives including care coordination, consumer engagement, population health, that may include text or streaming analytics. To learn more, you can download this Health Analytics Quick Start solution brief or leave a comment for me below and I will respond. How could you use analytics to make better decisions in your organization? I welcome your inquiries and ideas.