Survey: Fragmented Data is the Biggest Barrier to Successful Analytics

Ryan Black
DECEMBER 05, 2017


Just how big of a problem is fragmented data in healthcare? In a new survey of healthcare leaders, 58% reported that it was the biggest barrier to understanding the total cost of patient care.

“The platform is burning. Those health systems that see that and create strategies to get the data and insights that they need are going to be the winners,” Kevin Keck, MD, said in the report. Keck is the chief medical officer of SCIO Health Analytics, which administered the survey to 142 healthcare leaders.

Keck said that hospitals are “starving for more data sets” that will enable them to better develop discharge plans and influence outcomes. While many health systems have access to their billing information, they are blind to other key aspects of care. In particular, leaders in the survey expressed a desire for more information about patient socioeconomic status (57%), post-acute care (44%), and behavior (32%).

Without effective data layers, the report indicated, hospitals face an uphill battle when trying to leverage powerful analytics tools to influence outcomes. More than half of survey respondents also cited an inability to integrate clinical and financial data (52%) and poor insights from current IT operations (51%) as roadblocks to their analytics efforts.

"Rising healthcare costs are no longer just a focus from the organizations that deliver and administer care," SCIO president Rose Higgins said in a statement. Consumers feel the impact of rising out-of-pocket costs, she continued, and they are becoming more interested in how they can control their healthcare spending. That may increase the pressure on healthcare organizations to use analytics to improve value.

Next to fragmented data, 20% of health leaders said that a lack of resources was the biggest challenge to their analytics work.  

"Healthcare waste is a widespread problem throughout the industry that has reached near-epidemic proportions and is caused by a number of complex and interrelated factors," Higgins said in another recent statement.

Analytics can be part of the remedy, though: The company’s survey results come 3 weeks after it claimed its number-crunching had created half a billion dollars in value so far this year. By applying analytics to problems like provider billing issues for a health plan in the Northeast and documentation gaps for a health plan in Texas, SCIO said it had provided $300 million in savings while creating $240 million worth of additional value for clients in 2017.
 

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