The amazing ways data analytics is being used in healthcare

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You only have to glance at the program for the HIMSS16 Conference & Exhibition being held in Las Vegas this week to grasp how much data analytics is being used to transform the healthcare industry.

HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) is a non-profit organization with more than 60,000 members dedicated to promoting the use of healthcare technology to improve healthcare services and overall population health. Its annual conference is the largest in the U.S. related to healthcare technology. (Full disclosure: I am a regular contributor to HIMSS websites.)

HIMSS16 is expected to attract more than 40,000 attendees, including healthcare practitioners and executives, healthcare IT and finance professionals, healthcare technology vendors, plus Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who will give the opening keynote.

And one of the constant themes these attendees will hear in the desert is the importance of big data and analytics, both for clinical use and as a tool to help providers transition from a “fee for service” healthcare model to “value-based” care.

Just look at the titles of these educational sessions:

  • Actionable Analytics: From Predictive Modeling to Workflows
  • Managing Transfusion Medicine with Predictive Analytics
  • Improved OR Patient Flow Through RTLS-Based Visual Analytics
  • Predictive Analytics Drives Population Health Management
  • Data Analytics Takes the Pain Out of Pain Pill Management
  • Reining In Labor Costs With Predictive Analytics
  • Data and Analytics Done Right: Driving Value Creation
  • Enhance Clinical Research and Improve Outcomes with Analytics
  • The Power of Real-Time Analytics at the Point of Care
  • Real-Time Data, Predictive Analytics Can Reduce Infections
  • Coding for Care: Using Data Analytics for Risk Adjustment
  • Analytic-Driven Quality Keys: Success in Risk-Based Contracts
  • Uncovering Value in Healthcare Data with Cognitive Analytics
  • Taming Length of Stay Challenges Through Analytics

Honestly, I could keep typing in titles for awhile longer. But when you look at the partial list above, you can’t help but be impressed by how data can be applied to everything from healthcare financial management to research to population management to bedside care.

All that’s needed is data, a defined challenge, and a goal. Oh, and the right skills and tools to leverage big data.


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  1. I had no idea that data analytics could be used so diversely in healthcare. I figured that you could get good numbers for basic things like patient admissions, but not something so specific as reducing infections. I couldn’t begin to guess how healthcare analytics can do so much, but it looks like it will keep improving our health care. Great article!


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