Big Data in Healthcare

Big data in healthcare

In healthcare, Big Data offer a look into the health trends available to assist providers in better assessing their patients. Pokemon is a perfect example of Big Data. The game allows trainers to collect and use various monsters in battle each other. By employing Big Data in healthcare, providers obtain a vast amount of information. This information watches for patterns that can assist in predicting a diagnosis and improving treatment outcomes.

What is Big Data?

Regulatory requirements, patient care and record keeping generate lots of healthcare data. To keep the data stored more efficiently, more providers are moving toward electronic records systems. The increase in healthcare technology has also allowed for providers to maintain their clinical notes. Prior to using this technology, the information such as test results and clinical notes would be kept in a locked drawer. Now, the data is connected and stored electronically.

This is why Big Data in the healthcare industry is similar to the game of Pokemon. The more information gathered, the more the trainer can understand the weaknesses, strengths and abilities. This means they have a better chance of defeating the gym bosses. Large data gathered by the healthcare industry provides the same type of information about drugs and/or treatments.

How does Big Data Helps Providers?

It’s important to understand all the possible risks associated with a drug or treatment when making healthcare decisions. Big Data allows for predicting the accuracy of a treatment outcome or drug better than other methods. Big Data does this with the following:

  • Variety: Variety of types is important in learning about outcomes. When combining and analyzing various types of data, the healthcare industry can match outcomes and treatments together. This will assist in predicting patient risks. It also incorporates genomic and financial data. This helps providers obtain the complete medical picture on the outcome or treatment when socioeconomic factors are involved such as patient’s access to medical treatment or drugs.
  • Volume: Hospitals implementing systems that allow for electronic information to be moved between connected healthcare providers. As more providers are connected, the volume of the collected data increases. This never-ending cycle means Big Data becomes more sophisticated because of the volume of data collected.
  • Velocity: More patients and healthcare providers are using smart technology to track their health.
  • The information that is gathered still needs to be protected regardless of how it is obtained. This creates a new concern for many companies that must be HIPAA compliant.
  • Veracity: Because three V’s of Big Data, a fourth has been added to the list: veracity. Big Data in healthcare allows analysts to look for better tools accommodate problems specific to the industry. Thus, Big Data looks for better ways for data collected to become easier to read.

HIPAA and Big Data do Intersect

HIPAA requires healthcare data called protected health information (PHI) be anonymized or encrypted. This can cause headaches when trying to use Big Data in the healthcare industry. Scrubbing information so that it is HIPAA compliant can cause tension because it takes some needed information away.

For instance, one of the biggest factors in Big Data that HIPAA complicates is the analyzation of geographic location for socioeconomic status of a patient. This means a provider cannot collect all the information collected in Big Data unless you’re HIPAA compliant.

One of the biggest aggregation factors leading to predictive medical practices with Big Data comes from analyzing geographic location as a proxy for socioeconomic status. This means that while you’ve gotta catch ‘em all, you can’t necessarily use them all in your analysis unless you’re HIPAA compliant. This requires protecting Big Data and staying HIPAA compliant.

Automation Helps with Big Data

Customers need to know you are not only keeping their information but keeping it safe too. In fact, they need to know you’re responsive to their concerns. These things involve quickly responding to queries regarding your compliance. Automation makes providing compliance documentation easy. It allows you to generate an audit report and quickly prove your controls are functioning properly. This avoids the situation of having someone inquire about how quickly you can provide this information to them.

Also, automation assists in setting different authorizations for editing and viewing. This allows all organization members to access the information they need at any given time. Your internal auditor no longer has the responsibility of being the gatekeeper to your information. It also eliminates the fear that someone in another department may cause a breach or contamination of the data.

Big Data will become increasingly important in the healthcare industry. The more your compliance program expands the more it takes to stay within HIPAA compliance. Automation is the way to streamline your shifting compliance needs.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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