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Information Security and Privacy: A Strategic Imperative for Health Insurers and Providers

The unprecedented availability of data available to healthcare providers and payers will drive changes in patient care that will not only reduce costs but also save lives through evidence-based medicine

The unprecedented availability of data available to healthcare providers and payers will drive changes in patient care that will not only reduce costs but also save lives through evidence-based medicine

ICTpost Health IT Bureau

Reliable communication of health data could streamline patient care on both an individual and public health level. Identifying where patients with like conditions are within a geographic area could trigger more services for those conditions where they’re most needed and most effective.

Due to growing competitive pressures, hospitals need to provide comprehensive reporting on performance and quality measures to a variety of stakeholders. Advanced analytics capabilities are absolutely critical for survival — there is no way to avoid it.

But tracking down and using that information can be a nightmare.
Right now, for instance, the governments spend money on surveys to help identify health trends and needs in an effort to determine in geographic and financial terms where the state should spend its energy and effort.
If you could track trends over time by using electronic clinical and community indicators, such as tobacco use or body mass index numbers, that would make the whole evaluation process smoother.

Study
Over the next five years, hospital adoption of advanced health data analytics will increase significantly, according to a report by Frost & Sullivan. In the report, Frost & Sullivan predicted that hospital use of advanced health data analytics tools will increase from a 10% adoption rate in 2011 to a 50% adoption rate in 2016.
The increase represents a 37.9% compound annual growth rate, according to the analysis. The use of clinical data analytics holds much promise for the health care industry. Providers can use health care data analytics to learn about patient populations, enhance preventive care and drive business decisions by accessing key data such as demographics and chronic conditions.

Data available to healthcare providers and payers will drive changes in patient care  

•  The unprecedented availability of data available to healthcare providers and payers will drive changes in patient care that will not only reduce costs but also save lives through evidence-based medicine. This will require that providers and health insurers invest in first-time enterprise data warehouse projects or invest in a “next generation” warehouse for organizations that already have an EDW in place.
•  New financial and accountable-care models will require providers to have unprecedented insight into their patients, their providers, where patients are seen and the relationships between them. This will be required to support analytics across organizations, being able to hold providers accountable for individual patient outcomes and to drive coordinated care across the virtual enterprise.

Healthcare providers and health insurers will begin to converge on a common data model that includes both claims data and clinical data – bridging the health insurers’ traditional interest in claims data and providers’ traditional strength in clinical data. Data integration solutions will be key to making this convergence a reality, as master data management and data quality capabilities are essential enablers.

Information security and privacy will finally become a strategic imperative for both health insurers and providers as the growing volume of patient data in electronic form and a growing need to share this data make current half-efforts at information security too costly and risky to continue. Solutions that minimize the volume of PHI and mask data in both production and non-production applications will become commonplace as a primary means of mitigating the risk of a data breach. editor@ictpost.com

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