With the advent of electronic patient records comes both great efficiency and an onslaught of massive datasets that must be managed. In addition to patient records, hospitals now have clinical, financial and operational systems that run on data-centric systems – all of which must be carefully managed to connect all the data together.
According to David Bolton, Qlik’s Director: Global Market Development; Public Sector & Healthcare, the biggest and most fundamental challenge has been the way that patient data is stored. In healthcare, the pace of change is fast and huge levels of details of every patient’s care are available. Combining this information with a myriad of systems in operational and financial management means that there’s more data available than ever before.
What is the industry’s greatest source of data?
- The single patient electronic record is often seen as the core dataset
- Finance data
- Operational data
Why should healthcare practitioners understand what the data is telling them?
Data drives insights which help practitioners to understand what the data is telling them about the care that is provided. This can really influence behavioural change. In some cases, managing the variation in care could be a matter of life and death. Reviewing mortality data, for example, drives an understanding in causes and contributing factors, like septicaemia. The ability to address these factors earlier ensures that patient care is both supported and improved.
Making Better Use of Information at Hand
A typical hospital can have 30 or 40 different systems, all recording data relating to the quality of care the patient received. The question is; how do you get insight from this data to make a real difference?
- Look at the data in a different way
- Connect staff rostering with the patient experience/the patient outcomes
- Understand what was causing problems
- Big Data answers what could be a small question, but in a way that’s meaningful to everyone.
Crucial Insights Hiding in Clinical Data
Data analysis offers the ability to understand clinical variation in healthcare. Where do variations occur?
- Approach in theatre could be slightly different
- Could be a different drug regime
- Could be a different way of providing physiotherapy to that patient following surgery
All these elements add up to huge differences in the cost of care, but also the outcome for the patient. Understanding these variations provides the information needed to standardise a high, consistent level of quality care.
Insights Benefit Patient Care and Decision Making in Healthcare
Data management benefits patients by regulating care. In addition to improving the outcome for the patient, it also has a huge impact on the hospital’s ability to deliver operational efficiency.