Hospitals and medical centers have more to gain from big data analytics than perhaps any other industry. But as data sets continue to grow, healthcare facilities are discovering that success in data analytics has more to do with storage methods than with analysis software or techniques. Traditional data silos are hindering the progress of big data in the healthcare industry, and as terabytes turn into petabytes, the most successful hospitals are the ones that are coming up with new solutions for storage and access challenges.
Reducing Reliance on Data Silos is Crucial for True Data Integration
Big data in any healthcare application is only as efficient as the technical foundation on which it is built. The healthcare industry is learning that data silos get in the way of analytical efforts. The ability to integrate independent, far-flung information sets is the backbone of successful analytics.
When operational data, clinical data and financial data, for example, are segregated in isolated silos, the information in each category remains segmented and dislocated. When these data are integrated, however, useful analysis be conducted. Only then can analysts discover opportunities for cost reduction, locate gaps in patient care and find out where resources could be better utilized.
To get a feel for just how scattered different pieces of the data puzzle can become, some health-care operations are considering incorporating patient consumer data, such as credit-card purchases, to gain a more complete picture of a patient's lifestyle and choices. When these data are compartmentalized in silos, integration is impossible.