Data Can Empower Health Systems to Drive Innovation and Improve Patient Outcomes

Health systems can now access an array of reliable, relevant, and high-quality information across departments, theoretically giving them the ability to aggregate and analyze a wealth of healthcare and pharmacy data to reveal patterns, trends, and associations. But, when it comes to effective data assessment, a number of health systems face an uphill climb in determining the best approach to produce tangible results for the organization.

One surefire way to achieve this is for health systems to be systematic in their objectives. For instance, health systems should prioritize the creation of analytical tools to identify potentially high-cost patients; achieve relevant, actionable insights; and match patients with the most appropriate medications and treatment protocols. Patient engagement has become the name of the game for pharma companies. Why shouldn’t the same be true for health systems?

Getting as close to the patient as possible has driven big pharma to new realms—embracing technologies in unprecedented ways to follow the patient journey and ensure compliance. From the moment a script is written and received by the specialty pharmacy, patient programs and supply chains are set into motion to deliver the drug to the patient as efficiently as possible. Health systems should employ similar analytics to achieve their own objectives.

Innovation + Data = Better Patient Engagement

While medication reminders and virtual care visits are very useful patient monitoring tools, healthcare systems need to begin thinking of cutting-edge ways to interact with patients. For instance, health systems could use artificial intelligence to power apps installed on voice-enabled smart devices to convey health information to the patient and collect info interactively to predict future needs. The goal of predictive analytics should be to achieve clinical excellence by linking data from multiple sources to allow our health system to be more proactive rather than reactive. Breakthroughs in diagnostic technologies may finally be prioritized and used to arrest diseases earlier in their progression, saving lives and the system millions in needless expenses.

The integration of information in such a manner will create a full view of the patient, including clinical, pharmacy, genetic and genomic, outcomes, claims, and social data. It’s imperative health systems embrace sophisticated approaches to data utilization and patient engagement in anticipation of the rise of multimillion-dollar cell and gene therapies (CGTs). As of today, CGTs are approved for rare conditions. But as more are developed, these technologies will be deployed against more common diseases, and still cost more than the average specialty drug. By working with innovative partners with expertise in data analysis, health systems can manage complex, highly challenging cases.

We are surrounded by ever-growing sources of data. But not all data is good data. Health systems must take a highly strategic and deliberate approach to data capture, analysis, and utilization. And if the goal is to foster innovative patient engagement, set clear objectives for such interactions and determine how the information gathered can be used to improve the patient experience and health outcomes while helping contain costs.


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