The road to improving healthcare is paved with analytics, but where exactly will all that data take providers? LexisNexis Health Care’s Jeff Klein shares his insights.
Data—it’s the undeniable force disrupting and changing everything in healthcare. Still, the question remains: how will investing in HIT to make use of all that data pay off for providers? Well, for one thing, it will prevent providers from having to pay the ultimate price of doing nothing. However, not just any old data platform will do.
“Providers need to move aggressively towards real-time analytics,” said Jeff Klein, SVP and General Manager, at LexisNexis® Health Care, “In fact, real-time analytics are the critical tool for providers to demonstrate quality of care and that is a huge consideration; now, regulations require providers to be measured and reimbursed by government healthcare programs based on their quality of care.”
Healthcare has been slow to adopt analytics compared to other industries. Payers were the first, mostly with batch data analytics, to reduce costs through predictive analytics and population health management. Now that performance-based pressures are mounting for providers, they should follow suit. Innovation is also inevitably pushing providers to embrace data analytics as a primary step to engaging with technologies driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence. According to Forbes, IDC analysts predict that 30 percent of providers will use cognitive analytics with patient data by 2018.
The next three to five years could be especially enlightening for providers who embrace healthcare data analytics. Here is a look at three reasons/outcomes Klein expects will come from putting healthcare’s big data to good use.
1.Enhanced Decision Making
Real-time access to clinical analytics is not the norm today. However, as it becomes further utilized, it will drive provider behavior through a set of prescribed best practices in clinical care, based upon the multiple conditions of the patient. Having greater access to information that often gets left on the periphery, due to the limitations of current EHR/PHM technologies, will greatly enhance a provider’s ability to pinpoint appropriate treatment.
“It’s about being able to see the member/patient as they jump from payer to payer, move, change jobs, divorce, marry and participate in other life events that can be high stress. That level of information is relevant to stress and treatment adherence and is not available via most HIT tools. Completing the dataset with a comprehensive view of what’s going on in that patient’s life is essential to quality clinical care. The more complete the view the information gives, the better the ability is to drive quality care and predictive analytics because you are taking into account a more holistic data set,” said Klein.
2. Reflexivity to Cost Transparency
As consumers gain a greater awareness of healthcare costs, thanks to increasingly paying more out of pocket with the advent of high deductible health plans (HDHPs), it will become essential that providers are equally aware of the cost concerns of patients. Providers must prepare for the competition that will derive from greater cost transparency. More importantly, they will have to make it a consideration to appropriately treat patients.
A patient that walks into an emergency room, for example, may be seen by an out-of-network provider, which increases the cost of that visit. However, access to network information will allow providers to direct patients to make cost-effective decisions regarding their care.
“Once you have a common universal dataset, the next step is expressing it so a provider can let the member/patient know that he or she is not in the member’s network, so they can make a decision as to whether to move forward with that provider or not,” said Klein.
3. Holistic Patient View
Despite the current hurdles of interoperability and security issues, development and access to a universal patient database may be realized sooner than providers think.
“To really improve outcomes, we need to bring together a universal view of every member of the U.S. population, so we can see how the patient moves through time longitudinally,” he said. “That’s an area where LexisNexis Health Care can help, because we have the public records and commercial data on members and are now linking patients to payers as they share their data with us. That brings you down to member/patient-level insights.”
Access to real-time socioeconomic data is the new frontier in healthcare analytics. This data, coupled with EHR tools and PHM tools, will provide a more complete picture of the member/patient that providers simply aren’t seeing today. The use of socioeconomic data to help assess risk is emerging quickly and is a logical progression that will rapidly improve and be adopted broadly in the next three to five years.
So it seems that data analytics will soon be exploding in healthcare, yet there are those that still hesitate to embrace what’s coming. We asked Klein what he would say to those that remain reluctant: “I’d say get on board before the train leaves the station without you. Data analytics helps put the patient in the center of it all where they belong. The more you know about the individuals you are caring for the better care you can deliver,” he concluded.