It should be no surprise that we’ve written so much about healthcare on this blog considering the teeming mass of ever-fluctuating data at the heart of the industry. More and more, the exchange of patient data across networks of agencies is the daily grind for healthcare providers and insurance companies. As a result, IT is helping to accelerate healthcare into the information age, and health care providers are beginning to believe in the power of data and embrace a more collaborative and technologically based approach to health care information.
While hospital systems are full of data, they don’t often have the actionable business intelligence to make connections that can drive better-informed decisions. For this reason, one of the biggest problems facing healthcare providers is not just managing the data, but more importantly how to put the data into a meaningful framework that can help improve efficiencies and provide better service to customers. In other words, how can healthcare providers strategically interpret data about patient statuses (both past and present) in order to predict risks and come up with better patient care services? One answer is to involve a more holistic approach to patient profiles and data.
In order to deliver healthcare that has an impact beyond patching patients up when they show up in an emergency room, it’s crucial to understand the whole context of patients’ lives. Since many recurring healthcare cases come loaded with contextual baggage, healthcare providers should be seeking to cobble together the whole puzzle from data that may reside in a variety of places. For example, relevant information may exist outside of the healthcare network in organizations like social services, police departments, and other similar agencies. For this reason, it’s in the best interests of all parties involved for insurance companies, hospitals, and other related agencies to collaborate and share data. Obviously, patient information security and confidentiality will need to stay a priority. HIPAA laws make sure of this, and it will be necessary to include all collaborative agencies under the HIPAA umbrella.
Nevertheless, this type of industry-wide collaboration will not only improve the health and well-being of patients, but it will also cut costs for stakeholders and dramatically streamline communication between all parties involved. It will allow providers the opportunity to address gaps in health care plans and will even lead to predictive treatment down the road. As hospitals' views of patient profiles become more well-rounded, the health care experience will become more personalized. A more holistic, patient-centric approach is required to improve health care and cut costs.
If you’re involved or interested in the healthcare industry or the way that IT is transforming industries of all varieties, check out the following link: