Health care is something that touches everyone’s lives, from the moment they are born.
Currently, there are nearly 6,000 hospitals in the United States, as well as almost 900,000 professionally active physicians, according to statistics gathered by Becker’s Hospital Review. This represents a lot of possibilities for patients to get the care they need. And as each hospital and physician’s office creates data about their curative practices and patient experiences, there is also considerable opportunity to gather and analyze this information to improve the industry.
Mining online patient posts and reviews
In many instances, health care practitioners deal with some of the most sensitive information out there. Details like patients’ personally identifiable information as well as data about treatments, billing and finances must be kept secure according to industry laws. However, this doesn’t eliminate the potential sources of big data helping to improve the patient experience.
Data Informed contributor Kaushik Pal noted that publicly available information sources like social media and client reviews on practitioner websites can reveal much about the overall patient experience.
“For example, social media and website discussions could reveal that patients tend to feel a lot of anger at the billing inefficiencies of a particular hospital. Advanced analytics could quantify the range of emotions,” Pal wrote. “It is important to identify the most important issues in the minds of the patients — it could be availability of parking spaces, lack of clarity in communication, unclean bathrooms and even chaotic billing counters.”
Analyzing these sources could help an institution identify pain points within their processes, which gives them a starting point for improvements.
Big data in the real world: Pfizer
“Each hospital and physician’s office creates data about their curative practices and patient experiences.”
Currently, big data analysis is being seen in an increasing number of real-world deployments as health care companies look to improve their processes. Pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer, for example, leverages an expansive database of electronic medical records to help doctors more easily recognize patients in the early stages of fibromyalgia, according to Forbes. Pfizer, producer of fibromyalgia pain treatment drug Lyrica, hopes that its efforts will help lessen the struggle that those suffering from this illness feel.
“In the near-term, combining real-world data will help with better and earlier diagnosis and treatment,” Geno Germano, Pfizer’s Global Innovative Pharma Business Group President, wrote for Forbes. “Mid-term, this will help companies to better and more quickly identify medicines that will be safe and effective, thereby offering patients more personalized options. And in the long run, as diagnosis and treatment move earlier and earlier with the potential for mainstream use of sophisticated sensoring devices.”
But Pfizer’s big data efforts don’t end with its fibromyalgia treatment. The company has partnered with a firm specializing in big data analytics to study obesity and how patients might react to medication, enabling the organization to better inform its treatment research.
The power of an industry-leading partnership
As Pfizer’s example shows, even the biggest and brightest health care organizations can use a little help when it comes to their big data analytics. While these processes can bring numerous benefits to the industry — including enhancements for patient care — organizations must have the right tools in place for the job.
This is where a partnership with Aunalytics comes into play. As experts in big data as well as the overall needs of the health care industry, Aunalytics is uniquely positioned to provide your institution with everything it needs to securely store data and analyze this information for the most powerful insights possible.
To find out more, contact us today.