It is no secret that the healthcare system in this country is lacking in many areas. Costs are out of control, there are services being duplicated for many patients, medications are out of financial reach for many who need them, and the uninsured numbers are climbing to embarrassing proportions. In the absence of socialized medical care, improvements seem unlikely on the surface.
Behind the Scenes
The fact is that medical professionals across the industry have been developing strategies designed to make service delivery more efficient, lower overall costs, and increase satisfaction of patients and practitioners. Data collection strategies were rolled out first. Recommendations, adaptations for various settings, and new software products were introduced to collect the same information from every patient and enter it into a massive database.
This is the second phase that yielded more software, recommendations, and education regarding sharing information while keeping records and data confidential. These first two phases met with unimpressive results. Not all facilities have been able to make changes at the same pace, some have difficulty making the recommendations accommodate their settings, and others do not have the resources.
This phase is currently being introduced to medical facilities via white papers, summits, and articles regarding healthcare analytics. The goal is to build a solid foundation on which to improve and change strategies as the model gets updated and revised in the future. Seeking long-term results instead of short-sighted quick fixes is what the work has been about.
This final phase regarding data is intended to provide frameworks for service delivery evaluation, the evaluation of vendor products, and a road map of sorts to help facilities measure internal progress. This “Adoption Model” consists of eight levels that begin with the disconnected and inefficient use of data used today and end with analytics for preventative, predictive, and prescription analytics.
Administrators, IT professionals in healthcare settings, and practitioners will do well to read some of the massive amounts of information available online, discussed at summits and conferences, and presented by analytics professionals in training and seminars. Change is needed to correct and improve healthcare as the population is aging and lifestyles are leading to health problems in epidemic numbers.