Big data in healthcare: 8 things to know to achieve actionable insights

Big data analytics quickly rushed into the limelight in healthcare. However, extracting useful insight remains one of the most complex challenges for healthcare providers.

 

Here are 8 tips to achieve useful insights, according to HealthIT Analytics.

 

  1. Storing a large amount of data. Healthcare systems must be ready to store the excessive volume of data, without slowing other critical functions.
  1. Speed at which the data is being created, moved or accessed. Some patient data, such as vital signs in the ICU, need to be available immediately, while others can travel at a slower pace. Designating a faster speed for certain data streams could give healthcare providers an edge on quality reporting, according to the report.
  1. Types of sources available. There is a wide variety of meaningful data in healthcare, but much of it is contained in data siloes. The more compatible data set formats are, the easier it is to compare and extract useful information.
  1. Trusting the data. Healthcare organizations must focus on data governance to ensure clean, complete and standardized data.
  1. Accuracy of the data. Healthcare organizations should include when, how and by whom the data was created. Old data creates inaccuracies and false insights, according to the report.
  1. Relevancy of the data. Correlation does not mean causation. Understanding the various elements of the data will help predict outcomes but may not be viable in every case. Healthcare data changes rapidly, creating necessity to update new information and delete old.
  1. Data security. Data vulnerability is a main concern as data travels between organizations and the increasing number of data breaches, according to the report. Hospital and health system staff members should be regularly trained to keep the data private.
  1. ROI from the data. It is important to understand the value the data could bring in the future. Actionable insights can be a meaningful return on investment.

 

More articles on health IT:
IBM brings Watson for Oncology to China
North Dakota health dept. notifies 2.5k Medicaid patients of privacy breach: 5 things to know
OIG: Top HHS management challenges include information security, data integrity

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