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A Positive Look at 2018

Today, major players in our healthcare system are experiencing time, resource and financial pressure. Healthcare policy is in flux and hospitals must improve productivity and outcomes for fear of reduction in reimbursement rates.

For many, the 2018 outlook for our healthcare system may seem bleak, however, for others, the New Year brings hope! As last year came to an end, we saw disruptive technologies being implemented into ambitious healthcare institutions and there is no reason to believe this trend will slow. Promising developments in data analytics are helping hospitals take control of their population, streamline processes and improve the efficacy of care.

Lets take a look at a few exciting examples:

Analytics to help with ED congestions – Collecting, aggregating and hypothesizing based on data can help hospitals identify and predict congestion. The ED is notoriously known for bottlenecks – however, imagine if an analytic system was able to improve throughput, assist with wait time, or help blood work results return sooner…that is certainly a step in the right direction.

OR utilization – Using predictive analytics and mobile technologies, hospitals are able to identify the best process for the schedule and discharge of patients. The key to streamlined processes is pattern identification. These analytic tools can help providers and hospital administration identify the patterns worth continuing.

At Risk Patients in ICU – Arguably one of the most critical developments in the healthcare analytics space is the ability to alert providers of at risk patients – especially, in high acuity departments like the ICU. This crucial information helps providers make tough decisions in challenging times.

As was stated in a recent Harvard Business Review article (https://hbr.org/2017/10/why-hospitals-need-better-data-science), “hospital operations are in many ways like airline and airport operations and transportation services. There are many steps in the service operation (check-in, baggage, the security line, gates), high variability at each step (weather delays, congestion, mechanical issues), multiple connected segments in the user journey — and all these operations involve people, not just machines.” However, data analytics can simplify this all – helping hospitals and providers manage competing priorities and improve patient’s outcomes.

Here’s to an exciting 2018!