Healthcare Generates More Data Than It Can Use

The volume of healthcare data being collected today is as vast as the hurdles present in putting it to use, according to an editorial analyzing the pros and cons of integrating provider-collected health data and patient-generated data.

The op-ed, published in Health Data Management, makes note of new technologies, such as wearable devices, remote monitoring, and online diagnostic tools, and how the data from these tools can assist physicians in decision-making. It also notes that value-based care is driving patient empowerment while also forcing physicians to find ways to make the data generated by these tools useful.

“Medical device vendors, payers and providers alike are in in the middle of a paradigm shift. No longer are the devices or tools themselves at the center of attention, but rather the data is at the heart of it all,” writes Lorraine Chapman. “Even more so are the insights they provide to empower clinicians and providers to more accurately track, measure and prove that those devices are actually improving outcomes.”

However, the piece also argues that many providers don’t have the adequate infrastructure needed to put all the collected data to use.

“To harness the power of all available healthcare data, it’s important to determine how this data can be best leveraged for an organization’s advantage. Begin by asking: what are the biggest issues that this data can solve? Who are the target audiences for the data? How and in what context will they receive and use the data? Start with setting the goal to assist in demonstrating what and where data could best benefit the entire healthcare ecosystem,” Chapman writes.

Mary Butler is the associate editor at Journal of AHIMA.

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