June 13, 2016

How Predictive Data/Analytics will Change Healthcare

By Darlene Angelucci, Director, Assurance Services

How Predictive Data/Analytics will Change Healthcare

Today the method by which healthcare is structured, delivered and reimbursed is on the precipice of profound and far-reaching change. According to Dr. Jim Weinstein, president and CEO of Darmouth-Hitchcock Health System, “The current healthcare system is not sustainable. It costs too much, is too diffuse and not efficient.”

Given the decrease in revenues and tightening of margins that healthcare systems are currently facing, it is imperative that such systems shift their focus to improving patient outcomes, reducing costs and delivering more personalized care if they are to remain successful. One way to achieve these goals is through the use of predictive data/analytics and technology in a more automated and systematic application.

The goal of healthcare is to keep most people healthy and out of the hospital and to help sick people leave the hospital faster. Dr. Weinstein states, “If you think about any technology, we often take things to the repair shop when something’s gone wrong. But today, technology allows us to tell people when we need to get service, when our tires are low. We need to do the same thing for people. There’s no reason we can’t.”

Predictive data is created by pairing clinical care with advanced analytics and machine learning to develop adaptive protocols that take into account electronic health records (EHRs), claims, and environmental, socio-economic and other data sets. Once such data is developed, registered nurses with access to each patient’s personalized care plan can continually monitor patients’ health status and potentially serious trends. The goal with predictive analytics is to identify subtle clinical changes within patients earlier than ever and to intervene proactively rather than reactively, thanks to early warning scoring systems.

Predictive data can also be used as a means of prevention, keeping people out of the hospital. Healthcare organizations across the country can help to prevent people from getting sick in the first place by providing physicians with actionable predictive data that can assist them with providing personal, optimal care to their patients.

The use of predictive analytics by hospitals and physicians will help to build a health system that focuses on health, not healthcare. Such a health system would be based on value, not volume. With predictive data, a health system would be centered in population-based strategies, not market share, and would reward quality, not quantity.

Predictive data will change healthcare as it will allow physicians and hospitals to deliver more personalized care to patients and improve patient outcomes, by preventing emergency room visits, unnecessary primary care visits, hospital admissions and readmissions; and ultimately, it will lower the cost of care.

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