What is healthcare
analytics and
its benefits? 

Author: Satta Sarmah Hightower

As healthcare enters the new digital age, clinical settings are getting smarter and data intelligence is advancing to help healthcare organizations improve everything from diagnostic imaging to administrative and billing systems to the overall doctor-patient experience. As these digital healthcare services evolve, our hospitals, health systems and other institutions need a more effective way to uncover what data matters most.

Enter healthcare analytics. But what is healthcare analytics and why are they so valuable in healthcare?

What is healthcare analytics?

What are the benefits of healthcare analytics?

Analytics in healthcare can be extremely useful in a number of ways. Hospitals, for example, use predictive analytic models to identify patients' COVID-19 mortality risk based on their age, oxygen levels and medical history. They use this information to help determine which patients would benefit most from certain medical interventions and treatments.

Hospitals and health systems also use healthcare analytics to improve their operations and better manage their resources during patient surges. They use analytics tools to forecast the availability of medical equipment (such as beds and ventilators) to predict patient volume and coordinate staff scheduling.

Healthcare analytics also can be valuable in routine patient care. Digital health is a growing segment of healthcare, and many organizations are using connected technologies to provide clinicians with real-time data on a patient's vital health metrics. Technology like remote patient monitoring and smart pill bottles and dispensers can improve disease management for chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Analytics in healthcare is crucial for combating increasing costs and for helping clinicians provide quality care tailored to patients' needs. However, healthcare analytics alone won't drive improvements in care. Robust connectivity platforms and managed services can empower healthcare organizations to make their data more actionable.

How to apply analytics in healthcare to improve care quality

With the right analytics tools and technologies, healthcare IT and business decision-makers can maximize their use of data. Applying analytics in healthcare to improve the quality of care starts with an advanced, cloud-based data management platform. It can serve as a central repository for enterprise data, enhance data visibility and accessibility, and allow healthcare organizations to repurpose data for different uses—whether it's to improve their procurement processes and optimize their supply chains or to adopt evidence-based treatment approaches.

Healthcare organizations also need to focus on strong network connectivity to ensure data gets to its intended source quickly and securely. Advanced network technologies, such as software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN), mobile edge computing (MEC) and 5G, can help organizations optimize network traffic and ensure business-critical data is prioritized as it travels across their networks. Giving clinicians and healthcare administrators access to the data they need when they rely on it most can make a significant, potentially life-saving, difference in patient outcomes.

Managed services are another consideration as hospitals and health systems evolve into more data-driven organizations. Using custom solutions often leaves organizations stuck with technologies that aren't interoperable or that quickly become obsolete as their business needs change.

Working with a managed services provider allows healthcare organizations to benefit from a platform-based approach with integrated, constantly upgraded technologies that can meet their ever-changing operational needs. A managed services provider can oversee many of the advanced network technologies mentioned above, help healthcare organizations strengthen their network infrastructure over time, and benefit from automation and efficiency that can improve patient care and internal operations.

Transforming healthcare with data and analytics

Healthcare organizations continue to grapple with an ever-growing volume of data, which means they'll have to align their people, processes and technology to make better use of all the information at their disposal. These organizations must overcome a variety of challenges every day, but leveraging analytics in healthcare and unlocking the true value of their data can help them realize greater operational efficiency, enhance the patient experience and transform how they deliver care.

Why is healthcare analytics important for patient outcomes and operational efficiency?

Healthcare analytics allow healthcare providers to access real-time and historical information they can use to make decisions about a patient's care and treatment, underpinning one reason why healthcare analytics is important. On the operations side, healthcare analytics give organizations greater visibility into their resource capacity, including staffing and equipment. Healthcare analytics can also help them make more informed procurement and staffing decisions that enable them to run their business more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Analytics in healthcare allow organizations to take their structured and unstructured data and convert it into insights they can use to drive better decision-making and achieve their strategic goals. Data management platforms that store and allow organizations to apply healthcare analytics to their data, business intelligence dashboards that highlight business patterns and trends, and modern connectivity solutions, such as SD-WAN, mobile edge computing and 5G, can help healthcare decision-makers maximize the value of their data.

Leveraging the power of healthcare analytics in today’s digital age requires having the right tools and technology in place. Learn more about how Verizon can help your organization accelerate the digital evolution of health.

The author of this content is a paid contributor for Verizon.