How to Improve Healthcare Practices With Big Data

Big data is used across many different industries to help companies tackle problems and gain a deeper insight into their business. In particular, it plays a significant role in healthcare. The use of big data can have a positive impact on patient care and improve business processes. Here are a few ways big data is used to improve healthcare practices.

An Introduction to Big Data

Big data refers to a large, complex set of data which cannot be processed using traditional data processing methods. To put it simply, big data describes data that arrives in increasing volumes with great velocity and contains great variety. The concept of big data became popular at the beginning of this millennium. Nowadays, it is analyzed by a wide range of industries to gain insight into business processes and activity. For example, healthcare auditing companies, such as the Financial Recovery Group (FRG), use high-volume data mining processes to provide healthcare providers with payment accuracy assessments.

Big Data and Healthcare

In the past, data was stored in the old-fashioned way using hard copy files. Going digital has enabled data collection via various digital technologies. In turn, this has unlocked limitless possibilities to address healthcare related issues, which could not previously be examined due to limited resources. Applying big data to the healthcare industry can lead to life-saving outcomes. It can also help healthcare companies streamline their practices and offer a more personal healthcare experience.

In addition, big data can be used in digital health to address the following:

  • Social media and web data
  • Machine to machine data
  • Transactional data
  • Biometric data
  • Human-generated data
  • Pharmaceutical R&D data

Medical Claims Audit

A medical claims audit is used by healthcare providers for proper money management, regulation compliance and to identify areas for improvement within internal processes.

As previously stated, healthcare auditing companies use data mining processes to provide assessments. Specialist systems, such as Statistical Analysis Software, are used to distinguish medical claims. By auditing claims, these specialist companies can help healthcare providers recover millions of dollars.

Enhance Security

Research shows that data breaches have been experienced by over 93 percent of healthcare organizations. Big data analytics can be used to monitor network traffic and protect businesses against cyber attacks. In addition, analytics can help streamline insurance claim processes and reduce fraudulent claims.

Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) is a practical use of big data. According to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH), over 95 percent of U.S hospitals have adopted EHRs. EHRs include an individual’s demographic, medical information and medical history. They are useful for when a patient requires medical assistance from different healthcare practices. The records are easily shared using secure systems and can be modified accordingly by medical professionals. They also provide reminders and warnings to let organizations know when a patient needs to pick up a prescription or go for a test.

Enhancing Public Health Surveillance

Big data has been used to enhance the state of public health; systems have been put in place to give insight on population health management. Big data is used to monitor public health, such as environmental triggers, health and disease trends, and behaviors. The results can then be used for research, prevention, resource allocation and to control diseases.