Implications from fragmentation of the healthcare industry are most obvious in this chronic disease age. Affordable Care Organizations have no choice but traverse a rough terrain of unconnected, disparate data to unravel unidentified facts and relationships if they want to achieve true value-based care.
Population health has always been a priority to healthcare practitioners and providers since healthcare was perceived as a discipline. However, the concept of managing population health through the systematic definition of care outcome among groups is a rather recent move propelled by the Affordable Care Act.
The mechanics of the healthcare industry are much more dynamic than any other industry existent today. Looking at the healthcare industry as a value chain, the primary entity, being the patient has to traverse a whole maze that comprises a hospital or a clinical setting, an insurance provider, a primary care provider including the specialists, the pharmacy, and the urgent care center.
As patient data is fed into the healthcare ecosystem using disparate algorithms and formats at each healthcare setting through Electronic Health Records (EHRs), data analysts have reason to complain about the incomplete nature of the patient profile.
Moreover, inability to form connections between care providers while ensuring the availability of patient data outside of the hospital for comprehensive care management, is another important perspective that needs to be given due diligence. Clinical and claims data despite being available in disparate formats and fragmented storage, must be available for making meaningful and analytical decisions. The role of Big Data in Population Health Management starts at this juncture, where mighty, measurable goals are set to guarantee accuracy and efficiency in data synthesis of disparate data that will far outdo benchmarks in care outcomes, while leading the way to bottom line benefits.
Big Data Analytics opens up doors of opportunity for healthcare providers to aggregate, filter and make sense of data silos that were otherwise redundant in care settings. However, it will take more than just a set of algorithms to achieve usable patient data and population-wide outcomes.
For healthcare providers who wish to sustain their success in the current healthcare scenario, focus on patient data amalgamation should be of paramount importance. True success in the present scenario in terms of Accountable Care will only be available to providers who can tap the potential of Big Data to merge complete patient profiles with secondary data sources.;