How Is Data Analytics Used in Health Care?

Data Analytics Healthcare

Data analytics is the process of analyzing raw data for the purpose of determining trends and enabling better decision making. It is relevant to all types of organizations, especially health care organizations.

Data analytics in health care is vital. It helps health care organizations to evaluate and develop practitioners, detect anomalies in scans and predict outbreaks in illness, per the Harvard Business School. Data analytics can also lower costs for health care organizations and boost business intelligence. Most importantly, it helps health care companies to make better care decisions for patients.

What Are the Types of Healthcare Analytics?

There is more than one type of health care analytics. The top categories of data analytics in health care include:

  • Descriptive analytics: Descriptive analytics in health care uses historical patient data to glean insights into benchmarks and trends.
  • Prescriptive analytics: Prescriptive analytics relies on machine learning to propose a strategy.
  • Predictive analytics: In health care, predictive analytics uses both forecasting and modeling to predict what will probably happen in the future.
  • Discovery analytics: Like prescriptive analytics, discovery analytics also uses machine learning. The difference is, it utilizes machine learning to examine clinical data for the purpose of determining patterns that provide actionable insights.

Different analytics tools are used for each of these categories of health care analytics. These types of data analytics can be used in practical ways to benefit health care organizations, as well as patients.

How Health Care Data Analytics is Used by Medical Providers: Examples of Data Analytics in Healthcare

The best way to discover how data is used in health care is to take a look at real-life examples of big data analytics in healthcare. Vie Healthcare Consulting tells the story of how data analytics informs preventative care.

Preventative care is essential for health care systems and patients. It can help prevent future illness and patient readmissions to health systems. It can also promote better patient outcomes and lower health insurance costs. This is especially true of high-risk patients and those with chronic diseases. Cancer screenings, well-child visits and counseling on smoking cessation are all examples of preventative care. By identifying risk factors that could have gone unnoticed, health care analytics can be used to promote better preventative care.

Lisa Miller, contributor to the Vie Healthcare Consulting blog, gives an example of how health care analytics can promote preventative care through insurance companies.

Miller explains that in 2017, Blue Cross Blue Shield analyzed several years of pharmacy and insurance data. The data was related to opioid abuse and overdose. Through the analysis, Blue Cross Blue Shield was able to effectively identify almost 750 risk factors that can predict whether or not someone is at risk of abusing opioids.

“Gathering all of this data was only possible with the help of analytics experts and the right software solutions,” Miller said.

How Data Analytics in Health Care Improves Patient Care

One of the most amazing things about data analytics in health care is that it enables health systems and clinicians to make better care decisions for patients.

“In health care, decisions often have life-altering outcomes—both for patients and the population as a whole,” said Catherine Cote in the same Harvard Business School article from above. “The ability to quickly gather and analyze complete, accurate data enables decision makers to make choices regarding treatment or surgery, predict the path of large-scale health events and plan long-term.”

Data analytics is helpful to health care professionals and organizations. Both health care providers and health systems need health information and data that makes sense. Without accurate data, they can’t make decisions that are in patients’ best interests. Data analytics provides these institutions with the data they need to make decisions that lead to superior patient care. This not only improves patients’ quality of life, but can also extend their life.

Health Care Data Analytics Helps with Population Health Management

Health care data analytics not only improves patient care, it also helps with population health management. Population health management is the process of upgrading clinical outcomes of a group of people via better care coordination. Improved patient engagement is also a part of this process.

Health care data analytics can help with population health management. How? By enabling data scientists to build predictive artificial intelligence (AI) models. These models enable health care organizations to manage initiatives in the health of select populations. This is primarily done through identifying the health care system’s most vulnerable patients.

“With these patients identified, organizations can perform outreach and interventions to maximize the quality of patient care and further enhance the AI model’s effectiveness,” according to an article by Health Catalyst.

This is another example of how data analytics can improve patients’ lives and maximize the efficiency of health systems. 

What Is the Future of Data Analytics in Health Care?

Like data analytics in all sectors, there is a solid future for data analytics in health care. This is particularly true in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Data analytics in health care has grown in importance during the pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world have required health care for treatment of the coronavirus. Health care organizations have utilized data analytics to manage the global health crisis and better treat patients.

The need for quality healthcare will remain constant. For this reason, data analytics in health care will always be relevant, and jobs in this field will remain in-demand. For example, the Journal of Ahima states that while the demand for jobs in data analysis is high in every industry, the most emerging role is that of health care data analyst.

Get a Job in Data Analytics in Health Care with CompTIA Data+

Data analytics is a great field to get into. Besides being in-demand, data-related jobs often pay well. On average, a job in data analytics in health care pays a median wage of $86,806.

Would you be a good health care data analyst? If you are interested in providing data solutions for health care companies and have a degree in business analytics, health IT or health information management (HIM), it could be. Some companies look for health data analysts with degrees or equivalent experience in statistics, data science and computer science. Some experience with electronic health record (EHR) data is also a huge plus to employers.

These in-demand data mining in healthcare jobs calls for specialized skills in data. If you need these skills and already have experience working in data, CompTIA Data+ certification training can prepare you for a role in this field.

CompTIA Data+, which will be available in Q1 of 2022, offers a full training suite of Official CompTIA CertMaster products. These products include:

  • CertMaster Learn: CertMaster Learn provides comprehensive eLearning that prepares you for the CompTIA Data+ certification exam.
  • CertMaster Labs: CertMaster Labs provides hands-on experience in real virtual environments.
  • CertMaster Practice: CertMaster Practice is an online knowledge assessment and certification exam practice and preparation companion tool.

When learners buy a training bundle that includes both CertMaster Learn and CertMaster Labs, they will enjoy an integrated training experience. Find out more in The New CompTIA eLearning Bundles: Where Knowledge and Practice Intersect.

Need more information about your online IT training options with CompTIA? Check this out.

After training with CompTIA Data+ certification resources, you’ll be ready to take the certification exam. The exam covers:

  • Mining data
  • Manipulating data
  • Applying basic statistical methods
  • Analyzing complex data sets

To get the job you want, you have to prove to employers that you have the skills needed to do the job. With CompTIA Data+, you can do exactly that.

CompTIA Data+ covers the data analytics skills you need in health care. Start studying with CompTIA CertMaster Learn + Labs for Data+. Sign up for a free trial today!

Read more about Data and Analytics.

Tags : Data and Analytics