Healthcare Data: Making Patient Outcomes Actionable

April 01, 2022


Healthcare data has become increasingly important over the years. It’s estimated that 30% of the world’s data relates to healthcare. The future of healthcare could largely depend on how exactly we use this data.

This data is being mined from hospitals, patient records, and other health information. It can better inform healthcare practitioners and organizations, but how and why?

What Is Healthcare Data?

Healthcare data is collected on an ongoing basis across organizations such as, hospitals, clinics, and healthcare data registries.

Healthcare data is a summary of health information that comes from electronic health records, medical devices, research studies, patient-reported outcome measures, and more. Historically some of this data was tracked on paper, however things have shifted to computer software and electronic records. It benefits healthcare as a whole as it’s become much easier to access and build reports.

Examples of Healthcare Data:

  • Patient-Reported Outcomes (PROs)
  • Patient Turnover
  • Staff Scheduling
  • Patient Costs

Often referred to as big data, the level of information that’s collected from various healthcare sources is vast. Technology helps to break down all this information. It allows both staff and higher-level stakeholders to analyze it much easier.

These records can be extracted and entered into different data visualization systems. They provide analytics that can be depicted in visual trends.

In recent years, the cross between technology and healthcare is increasing. Analytical tools, databases, and healthcare data jobs are being integrated into healthcare organizations.

Technology and big data have intertwined through advancements in predictive analytics and AI. The interoperability of systems becomes extremely valuable. It provides support for changing healthcare policies or requesting more funding.

Why Is it Valuable?

Within healthcare, it’s crucial to understand what issues exist, how they’re being addressed, and if those solutions are effective. As healthcare systems continue to transition to value-based care, analyzing the available data can provide helpful insights on how healthcare providers can improve care.

For the healthcare industry, this data is also important to get an overview of patients. What is their medical history, have they visited this clinic more often recently, or what medications are they taking?

For organizations, this data provides information such as demographics served or quality of care. For example, what age group is being served, and how did they report their satisfaction or improvement in their quality of life?

The value of the healthcare data lies in being able to identify trends, specifically trends around potential issues. For example, a trend in hospital readmissions could be related to poor discharge planning. A higher blood clot rate than normal could reveal protocols that need to be revamped. An uptick in additional surgeries to repair an orthopedic implant could reveal a defective implant. This type of data lives in the electronic health record (EHR) system, and can be easily extracted and analyzed by healthcare workers and stakeholders to target areas of improvement or future setbacks.

Another valuable piece of healthcare data that is gaining traction as the gold standard of outcome data, is patient-reported outcome (PRO) data. This data is self reported by patients. PRO data can be used in many ways, and is often a leading indicator to an issue. Using the implant failure example- revision surgery data will be available from the EHR after the revision has happened. But through PRO data, you can see early signs of an issue 6 weeks after the surgery or intervention.

Healthcare data helps to increase positive patient outcomes and quality of service. Data and PROs together pinpoint issues and can result in positive impacts to care such as care pathway and protocol changes.

Who Is it Valuable to?

Healthcare data is valuable to healthcare providers, healthcare systems, and more. Ultimately, it is valuable to patients. The importance of data is seen across every level of the healthcare system.

On a larger scale, this data can help to prevent disease, predict health trends, or reduce healthcare costs. On a smaller scale, it can help to better manage staff, improve patient-reported outcomes, or reduce business costs.

Doctors and surgeons can use collected healthcare data to improve patient care. Through integrated data systems, levels of care can be compared to other hospitals. This is usually done through healthcare registries.

For patients themselves, this information can prevent medical errors and maximize the care received. This includes incorrect medications, unnecessary consultations, or having incorrect patient data. Ultimately, this improves their medical care.

The benefits of good healthcare data are evident throughout all levels of the healthcare system. Whether it’s improving satisfaction ratings at hospitals and clinics, or increasing staff efficiency, having access to and analyzing such data is key.

CODE Technology: Experts in Healthcare Data

At CODE, we are passionate about data. We provide a full PRO service where we work with clients to establish goals and create PRO reports with those goals in mind. We have dedicated staff who handle all aspects of data collection so there is no disruption to your clinic workflow.

Our customizable system has allowed us to achieve an 80% capture rate across all intervals. Contact us today to find out how we can work together for a healthier future through robust, informative patient-reported outcomes.

Learn More About Healthcare Data

Getting Smart About FHIR

Getting Smart About FHIR

Anyone that has ever worked in or been the recipient of healthcare knows how frustrating it is to see a doctor at one location and have none of that...

CMS’ PRO-PM in the IPPS | Q&A

CMS’ PRO-PM in the IPPS | Q&A

A compilation of questions from hospital administration on CMS’ PRO performance measure in the 2023 Hospital IPPS Ruling in a Q&A format.