The healthcare system is one of the largest and most complex industries, with patients constantly demanding better care management. Every day there are numerous new records of data, and it is becoming increasingly challenging to collect and analyze every piece of data effectively.
Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and every bit of digital data relevant to the healthcare field are amassed in huge quantities, making it necessary to utilize technology and its tools to take advantage of the available data. That’s where Big Data comes into play.
What is Big Data in Healthcare?
Big data refers to the massive quantities of information created by the digitization of everything, which gets consolidated and analyzed by specific technologies. The data comes from numerous sources including electronic health records (EHRs), medical imaging, genomic sequencing, payor records, pharmaceutical research, wearables, medical devices, etc. The application of healthcare data analytics has a lot of positive and also life-saving outcomes. It uses specific health data of a population (or of a particular individual) and can potentially help to prevent epidemics, cure disease, cut down costs, etc.
Adopting the use of healthcare big data can transform the industry, driving it away from a fee-for-service model and toward value-based care. In short, it can deliver on the promise of lowering healthcare costs while revealing ways to deliver superior patient experiences, treatments, and outcomes.
What are the Benefits of Big Data Analytics in Healthcare?
Some of the benefits of Big Data healthcare that the industry has experienced are translated into terms of improved patient experience, prediction of epidemics, avoidance of preventable deaths, improvement of the quality of life, effective surveillance of public health, educated decision-making of policies, and more.
Next, we will describe some of the most prominent benefits of Big Data in healthcare to illustrate the achievements being made.
- Healthy Patients
Keeping patients healthy and helping patients avoid illnesses and diseases stands at the front of any priority list. Checking on patients with high-risk problems and ensuring a more effective, customized treatment approach can thus be facilitated. Lack of data makes the creation of patient-centric care programs more difficult, so one can clearly understand why utilizing big data initiatives are important in the industry.
Analysis of healthcare big data also contributes to greater insight into patients cohorts that are at greater risk for illness, thereby permitting a proactive approach to prevention. Big data analytics can also be used to educate, inform and motivate patients to take responsibility for their own wellness.
- Cost Reduction
Various clinics, hospitals, and medical institutions are often faced with high levels of financial waste, due to the ineffective management of finances. What causes a loss in in-house budgets is usually the underbooking or overbooking of staff. Through predictive analysis, this specific problem can be solved. It’s far easier to access help for effective staff allocation together with admission rate prediction.
Predictive analytics also enables hospitals and other healthcare facilities to save a large chunk of their money by forecasting the demand for medical supplies accurately. The amount that is saved can be reinvested to yield higher profits or used as additional revenue.
- Error Minimization and Precise Treatments
Prescription errors are a serious problem in healthcare organizations. Because humans will always make the occasional error, patients sometimes end up with the wrong prescription which could cause harm or even death. Big data can help reduce those error rates dramatically by analyzing the patient’s records with all prescribed treatments and flagging anything that seems out of place.
- Advancement in the System
Being able to access numerous data points in just a few seconds would, of course, enable the more rapid discovery of effective solutions. Conditions could be more easily treatable, and personalized solutions for lesser common health problems might also be obtained. Any advancements in the healthcare sector are worth considering. And currently, things seem to be going on the right track with the further development of tech tools.
- Strategic Planning
The use of big data in healthcare allows for strategic planning thanks to better insights into people’s motivations. Care managers can analyze check-up results among people in different demographic groups and identify the factors that discourage people from taking up treatment.
- Reduce Fraud and Enhance Security
Personal data is extremely valuable and any breach would have dramatic consequences. With that in mind, many organizations have started to use analytics to help prevent security threats by identifying changes in network traffic, or any other behavior that reflects a cyber-attack.
How to Ensure Data Integrity in Healthcare?
Electronic health records, big data, and digital transformation have been huge talking points in healthcare. And data quality in healthcare remains one of the most critical concerns for healthcare providers who are serious about maintaining the accuracy and reliability of their patient records. Below are some useful approaches that would maintain the accuracy, reliability, and consistency of data.
- Validating computer systems
- Implementing audit trails
- Installing error-detection software
- Maintaining backup and recovery procedures
- Protecting the physical security systems
- Properly training users and conducting internal audits
- Instituting safeguards against data fudging
Evidence-based medicine is where the world is heading today. This requires making use of all available clinical data and factoring that into advanced analytics. Capturing and bringing together all the information about a particular patient gives a more complete view to attaining actionable insights. This will help reduce expensive testing, wasting of resources and will aid in the right prescription of drugs and saving more lives. Big Data and Predictive Analytics play a massive role in the healthcare industry as not only agents that save the lives of patients, but it also helps hospitals and medical facilities reduce their overhead costs. Plus, it also contributes more to the economy by making use of their investments in a sensible way. The opportunities are endless when it comes to Big Data, and new, fresh ways to help out the healthcare industry are going to continue to follow.