Analytics plays a key role in the healthcare continuum.

Analytics plays a key role in the healthcare continuum.

Veneeth Purushotaman, Group Chief Information Officer at Aster DM Healthcare highlights the role of analytics in healthcare delivery

The healthcare industry is transitioning towards providing a more holistic care delivery system. As it moves from a fee for service model to more value-based care governing the preventive and post-hospitalization care delivery model for patients, it capitalizes on analytics to facilitate the clinical and operational decision support.

Analytics plays a key role in the care continuum and depends on clean and structured clinical data.  The Hospital Information Systems and other technology solutions deployed at the hospitals and clinics are equipped to capture this clinical data which includes the Patient Health Record. To diagnose and treat an individual patient effectively, the care providers and teams must have access to 3 types of clinical information – the patient’s health record, the access to rapidly changing the medical-evidence base, and the various data provided by the investigations like blood tests, X-rays, etc carried out.

Once this data is captured and stored for a patient over some time, the effectiveness of the treatment can be analyzed; any patterns observed are documented as the clinical outcomes.

These outcomes help proactively treat a patient who shows similar symptoms and it is this analysis of clinical data that can prevent hospitalization.

Care providers across the globe are now focussing on preventive care and working with citizens to help them monitor their health, lifestyle, sleep, and diet to ensure they remain healthy.

Imaging data or what is commonly known as the X-rays and CT scan images can be processed using AI and Big Data to arrive at patterns for early detection of diseases. Several solutions helped detect a COVID patient using AI on the imaging data and this has saved lives in the recent pandemic.

There is a lot of machine interface in healthcare from clinical equipment and medical devices. The flow of data from these devices can be used for driving better clinical outcomes. Clinical experts can work on this data to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of clinical outcomes. Data from IoT, medical devices, wearables, and health bands can help boost post-hospital care. It can alert doctors if there is an exception to the pattern. This helps address the increasing number of re-admissions or re-hospitalization cases.

Analytics helps us maintain efficiency and effectiveness in their clinical, operational, and financial processes. It helps in sustaining and delivering more effective and timely operational goals from the hospital infrastructure. It can improve the availability, accessibility, timeliness of the basic medical infrastructure. It helps optimize the use of OTs, ICU rooms, doctor’s time slots, and availability thereby enhancing the performance and quality improvement dimension.

Efficient information flow about the operational parameters and KPIs helps optimize hospital operations. Every aspect of the cycle from the time taken after an individual book an appointment to time he leaves is measured to see how the wait time can be reduced and how the doctor’s time can be optimized to see maximum patients. It helps plan the doctor’s appointment slot better. It helps analyze the availability of OTs and ICUs. Information on the typical timing of high occupancy and lean periods can be used to allocate them effectively.

Healthcare organizations should actively and mindfully drive a data-driven culture. The corresponding RoI can impact the entire cycle of healthcare delivery.

Having said that, it is important to note that patient data is sacrosanct and its privacy is paramount. Healthcare providers need to ensure that the data is captured and stored in the right and the safest of ways so that patient records are not compromised.  They should put in place strong access control mechanisms for clinicians who access the data.

Besides role-based access, we need to drive a great deal of education and awareness on data protection and privacy to people who have legitimate access to patient health record data.

Going forward, the approach should be towards the creation of cloud-ready tools and platforms rather than solutions built in silos. A platform-based approach enables multiple layers of security. The future of healthcare technology is all about standards, platforms, and cloud-enabled solutions.

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