Don’t let big data become a big disaster in your healthcare organization


This blog was originally published by Tribridge. Since then, Tribridge has become the DXC Eclipse practice within DXC Technology.

Big data is a big problem in the healthcare industry. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the ongoing shift away from fee-for-service payment systems and toward value-based care, healthcare organizations are becoming much more data-driven. Healthcare organizations hold nearly one billion terabytes of data, between clinical records, health research records and business operations records. A billion terabytes is a large amount of data to store, let alone try to organize for end-user consumption. To put it in perspective, a single terabyte could hold 1,000 copies of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Ten terabytes could hold the printed collection of the Library of Congress. Simply put, one billion terabytes is a massive amount of data.

A report by Frost & Sullivan predicts that healthcare organizations will have 40 times the amount of data by 2020. While this data is being hailed as the key to improving health outcomes and reducing healthcare costs, the sheer volume of data is so overwhelming that most organizations are unable to take full advantage of it with their current resources. Managing and harnessing the analytical power of these large datasets, however, is vital to the success of all healthcare organizations, and driving proactive and preventative health by better engaging patients and customizing their care.

With this data, healthcare organizations have the possibility of transforming the practice and outcome of medicine. But without an effective business intelligence (BI) strategy or a data warehouse, healthcare organizations have no chance of storing, yet alone organizing, this big data. At the crux of any BI strategy is a data warehouse which allows you to aggregate information from numerous systems that may be disjointed—including clinical, financial or operational systems—permitting better data storage and deeper analysis than ever before.

A healthcare organization can utilize a data warehouse for its single source of truth. As part of an organization’s BI strategy, a data warehouse that is properly configured and deployed can improve productivity and decision-making across the entire organization. Data analytics, wisely used, can create business value and competitive advantage. Most health systems have many opportunities to improve clinical quality and financial performance, and analytics are key to identifying and taking advantage of those opportunities.

Healthcare organizations in all subsectors—from providers and payers to pharmaceutical and device manufacturers and researchers—will need to develop strategies for managing the complexities and costs of big data.

Jennifer-Stango-headshotJennifer Stango is Senior Director, Health and Life Sciences, DXC Eclipse

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