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The Most Common Healthcare Challenges & Our Solutions

Big Spender

PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) has projected that the growth of medical costs in the employer insurance market have stabilized at an unsustainable 6 percent—a rate which trended between 5.5 and 7 percent over the previous five years. Meanwhile, the United States is the highest per capita spender when compared to all other OECD countries.

This unsustainable cost trend coupled with healthcare data volumes doubling every 18 months, creates a formidable challenge for CIO and IT leaders who are attempting to move toward the triple aim of better health, better experience and better value. The solution is not to simply collect as much data as possible and store it in a traditional enterprise data warehouse. Collecting the data alone will not give you the insights you will need to continually adapt in the rapidly changing industry. Author James Gleick writes that, at an early cybernetics conference, Heinz von Foerster complained “that information theory was merely about ‘beep beeps,' saying that only when understanding begins, in the human brain, ‘then information is born—it’s not in the beeps.’... It takes a human—or let’s say, a ‘cognitive agent’—to take a signal and turn it into information.”

A Data Dilemma

A big challenge is to free up the data from silos so it can be accessible within the organization to create a deeper level of understanding across the enterprise and across the industry as a whole, interoperable system. Patricia Wise, VP of HIMSS, speaks to the challenges associated with creating an interoperable healthcare system. She says, “It is an interesting dilemma; as a healthcare executive, you want interoperability between and with all organizations affiliated with you to retain patients and enhance the quality of their care… Interoperability outside of your organization is not as compelling from the execs’ point of view.”

Given this dilemma, it might not be surprising that in a survey of 115 healthcare executives, 32% said their most pressing big data challenge was “difficulty in turning data into actionable information” and 30% responded that their biggest challenge was “difficulty exchanging information between systems.” As difficult as it might be, the need for interoperability continues to be a high priority.

The Way Out is Through

Data permeates every aspect of the healthcare ecosystem and it needs to be addressed head on, with a sophisticated business intelligence and big data analytics strategy.

Big data represents a way for healthcare to move beyond reactive disease treatment to the proactive support of wellness management. This will lead to improved clinical outcomes, better personalized experiences, reduced inefficiencies and controlled costs within the industry.

We build big data ecosystems with our clients from the ground up to supercharge the information value chain for healthcare providers and payors. Are you ready to take the next step to create a data analytics strategy that will allow you to thrive during this period of rapid healthcare transformation? Reach out to us here, and let us know how we can help you.

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