The big data revolution is upon us. How well healthcare organizations are able to analyze the explosion of data, while keeping it private and secure, is one of the biggest challenges for Health Information Management (HIM) professionals with implications for the entire healthcare system.
“Healthcare is a data driven industry and business. I believe that if an organization doesn’t embrace big data and analytics and make it a priority in their business model, that organization may not be around in 10 years,” said Lorraine Fernandes, RHIA, Global Healthcare Ambassador, IBM.
Fernandes delivered her speech Thursday at the American Health Information Management Association’s (AHIMA) Health Information Integrity Summit: The Quest for Safe, Usable, Quality Data in EHRs. AHIMA convened the Summit of leaders in policy, informatics, the law and HIM to address the critical issues of data integrity and information governance.
The exponential increase in big data, or data sets so large and complex that special database management tools are needed to process, is just beginning. By the year 2020,Fernandes said there will be 50 times as much data to process as in 2010.
Effectively analyzing big data can lead to major improvements in a number of categories including population management, care management, intervention, health economics and patient engagement.
For this to happen, Fernandes said organizations must establish data governance and define data objectives, identify data and information requirements, normalize integrate and organize big data and protect the privacy and security of big data.”
“Big data that is usable and trusted will transform and revolutionize healthcare,” Fernandes said.
One example Fernandes provided came from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). By forming real-time analytics from physiological data and continuously correlating that data from medical monitors to detect subtle changes, UOIT was able to detect neonatal patient symptoms sooner. This gave caregivers the opportunity to proactively deal with complications.