10 Benefits of Modern Data Platforms for Healthcare Organizations

Traditionally, healthcare organizations have been built around the patient being at the center. The organization provides care for patients, and their doctors focus on delivering care. However, modern healthcare involves expanding the role of data in delivering patient care and increasing the involvement of patients in their own care.

To this end, healthcare organizations need modern data platforms that can help them find these insights and make smarter decisions for the betterment of their patients. Let’s look at why healthcare organizations should adopt a modern data platform.

Easier to Use

Healthcare organizations often have much medical knowledge that goes into every aspect of patient care. This includes expertise in pharmacology, lab testing, disease states, end-stage disease, and the latest research and evidence-based medicine (EBM) findings. However, keeping track of all this knowledge in your head can be difficult, especially when providing patient care.

Data platforms let you store all this knowledge in the form of ‘ data facts’ that can be accessed and analyzed by healthcare providers and researchers. Using a digital platform also means that healthcare organizations can more easily find the data they need when they need it. In other words, it’s more ‘ user-friendly.

Better Security

Most data breaches in healthcare involve stolen, lost, or misappropriated medical records. This is largely due to a lack of proper data security protocols. However, when healthcare providers use a digital platform, this often means encrypting all stored data and using multi-factor authentication (MFA) to access medical records. This helps prevent data breaches and leaks. 

More Visible

Traditional healthcare organizations are largely based on paper registries, meaning a patient’s medical record is maintained in a separate location from where the clinical data is extracted and analyzed. Clinical data is often hidden in various places, such as insurance records, so healthcare providers and researchers have to spend time finding and analyzing the data they need. However, with a digital platform, all data is ‘ visible’ (i.e., searchable) and thus easier to find and analyze.

Reduces Errors

As we’ve established, maintaining a paper-based medical record is extremely error-prone. This is because errors are easy to make when transcribing information from paper to a computer. For example, if a healthcare provider makes a mistake in entering a patient’s information into a paper registry, this mistake will likely end up in the patient’s medical record. 

With a digital platform, all data is always ‘ accessible’ and thus easier to maintain. In addition, error checks can be built into the software, which means any mistakes can be detected and corrected before data is published or used for clinical decision-making purposes. These features help reduce the risk of errors and improve data quality. 

A More Profitable Option

Financial constraints are one of the major reasons healthcare providers adopt new technologies. Despite increasing demand and complexity, healthcare reimbursement continues to lag behind the costs of maintaining and running a modern business. The ability to connect various datasets and use them to answer questions about a patient’s health and behavior means that healthcare organizations can draw on a larger pool of potential ‘ clients’ (i.e., purchase leads) and improve their revenue stream. 

More Effective Marketing

Marketing is extremely important in today’s healthcare world, especially considering that healthcare providers operate in a largely disconnected world. This is because they are trying to reach patients who may not normally visit their practice (e.g., people in an airport, on a bus, or in a hotel room).

However, healthcare organizations that adopt a digital platform can take advantage of big data and use it to their advantage. For example, they can use patient insights from analyzing large amounts of data to create targeted marketing campaigns and engage with patients more effectively. In addition, healthcare organizations can use marketing analytics platforms to track the effectiveness of their campaigns and make future marketing decisions accordingly.

Sharper Insight

Big data has revolutionized the way healthcare providers view their patients. It can generate a complete picture of a patient’s medical history and condition and can be leveraged to understand their needs and behaviors better. This, in turn, means that healthcare organizations can provide patients better care.

For example, if a healthcare provider knows that a patient is struggling with addiction, they might consider providing additional treatment options (e.g., psychotherapy, medication, etc.). Alternatively, they could consult with the patient’s drug counselor about safer practices and/or provide education about addiction and how to avoid it.

Better Collaboration

Healthcare organizations adopting a digital platform allow for better communication between all care team members, increasing the quality of patient care. This is because everyone on the team can access the same patient record and any changes made by one person are automatically visible to all. 

In addition, healthcare providers can integrate medical records from various locations, such as within a hospital or across multiple hospitals, which increases the chances of finding relevant information and prevents medical mistakes from being committed due to a lack of ‘ cooperation’ among staff members. These features make collaboration easier and more effective and reduce the risk of errors due to a lack of communication between healthcare providers.

Better Decision-Making

Data can be integrated and analyzed to generate valuable insights, which can be used to make better decisions about patient care. This is especially important when decisions must be made quickly (e.g., in an emergency room) or when a healthcare provider is unclear about whether or not a certain treatment will benefit a patient. In those instances, data-driven decisions can help determine the best course of action and improve the quality of care delivered to that patient.

For example, let’s say that you’re in the ER with a patient who is in heart failure. You’ve run all the necessary tests, and the patient’s condition appears critical. However, the healthcare provider working with you isn’t certain whether or not hydrated electrolytes (i.e., intravenous fluids containing electrolytes) will help stabilize the patient’s condition. 

Before administering the treatment, you ask for a medical opinion from another healthcare provider who works in the ER. After reviewing the patient’s records, the second healthcare provider determines that the hydrated electrolyte treatment will most likely benefit the patient. In this case, the decision to administer the treatment was based on relevant clinical data. A higher degree of ‘ certainty’ could be achieved using a digital platform to store patient records and analyze them for relevant trends and patterns.

More Accurate Reporting

For example, hospitals have to file certain forms with the government regarding their acute care (i.e., inpatient) facilities, the quality of their staff, and their organization’s finances.

However, these reports are often difficult to compile accurately due to errors made by healthcare providers in reporting information to the government and other organizations. Thus, reporting requires a lot of manual data entry and is prone to errors. In other words, it’s not automated and is more efficient, entirely conducted via computer.

Additionally, paper-based medical records make it easier for healthcare providers to commit errors and thus compromise patient safety. This is because errors are simply not auditable the way they are with a digital platform. Thus, the need for medical review boards and other quality assurance measures becomes more important.

Make A Change Now

The health data landscape is changing. Electronic health records are expanding the medical data available to healthcare providers. However, the volume of data alone is not enough; healthcare organizations need a strategy to make sense of this data and find insights to improve patient outcomes and the quality of care.

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