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How data, analytics and digital technology can strengthen our healthcare system

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How data, analytics and digital technology can strengthen our healthcare system

Healthcare systems around the world aim to keep people healthy and, when needed, to provide quality, safe, patient-centred health care at the right time in the right setting.

Their ability to achieve this is in direct proportion to their ability to address significant emergent healthcare challenges, such as growing and more complex demand and rapidly rising costs with limited financial resources. The effective use of data, analytics and digital technology provides a powerful mechanism to help address these issues. Data, analytics and digital technology can deliver rich insights that result in decision-making that improves healthcare quality, safety and outcomes at a lower cost.

The governments and healthcare organisations Nous works with increasingly recognise the incredible power hidden in data and the need for sophisticated analytics to unleash it. Health systems and services have always generated large volumes of data, but historically much of the data has been in written form or siloed in individual systems and organisations. Advances in the way healthcare data are collected, shared and analysed offer exciting new opportunities for rich, evidence-based insights to beneficially influence health service planning, delivery and performance.

There is also a greater expectation of transparency in health with a demand to publish data and analysis to support performance monitoring and continuous improvement. Such transparency informs and empowers consumers to make the right healthcare choices. It encourages them to participate in their healthcare and provides access to better value care.

Analytics generates insights that can positively impact decision-making and produce behaviour change at all levels. This in turn lead to the provision of higher quality, safer care and improved health outcomes at a lower cost.

Analytics generated insights have a positive impact at all levels

Benefits of analytics generated insights in healthcare

What is required to enable data and analytics to be used well?

In our experience, there are some key enablers that are necessary to support the optimum use of data and analytics:

  • Strategic data governance, including streamlined policies and processes
  • Effective leadership at a system and organisational level to drive change in a way data and analytics are applied to healthcare challenges
  • Data sources that are high quality, reliable, relevant, comprehensive and complete, including one source of truth, better use of linked data and tapping into new data sources (e.g. social media, personal fitness devices, genomics)
  • A strategic approach to data collection and analysis to ensure the right data is captured efficiently, available in a timely way and used effectively to inform decision making
  • Partnerships between organisations to enable data collection, storage, integration and exchange while ensuring confidentiality, privacy and security of patient information
  • Appropriate ICT infrastructure and platforms that enable interoperability, information sharing and clinical integration
  • Health data platforms that can evolve to incorporate new technologies and methods, and allow third party providers to build applications and solutions based on the platform
  • A workforce with the right skills and capabilities to access, analyse, interpret, report on and utilise health data
  • Appropriate analytical tools and technologies, including interactive data tools that enable effective evidence-based planning and management of health services and activities.

How well is your organisation positioned to use data and analytics to drive quality, safe health services and strong patient outcomes?

Get in touch to find out more about Nous' experience in digital health initiatives.