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Six cases where big data can reduce healthcare costs
Date:7/10/2014

As the use of electronic health record becomes widespread across the United States, due in large to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the quantity of clinical data that will become available for research and analytic purposes will also dramatically increase. Additionally, experts in healthcare have become increasingly focused on clinical analytics that analyze large quantities of data for the purpose of gleaning insights that have the potential to improve the value of patient care a process that is known as big data.

In a new research study published in Health Affairs on July 8, 2014, researchers highlight some of the clearest opportunities to reduce costs through the use of big data.

Specifically, researchers discuss the role of algorithms in reducing cost in the following categories: high-cost patients, readmissions, triage, decompensation (when a patient's condition worsens), adverse events, and treatment optimization for diseases affecting multiple organ systems.

"The examples we present in this study provide key insights to the 'low hanging fruit' in healthcare big data and have implications for regulatory oversight, offer suggestions for addressing privacy concerns and underscore the need for support of research on analytics," said David Bates, MD, MSc, chief quality officer at Brigham and Women's Hospital and lead author on the study.

High-cost patients

Only five percent of patients account for about half of all U.S. health care spending. Bates and his co-authors articulate the issues that need to be addressed to identify and then manage these high cost patients. They include formalizing an approach to predict which patients are likely to be high cost, what measurements can be incorporated to improve this prediction, particularly those focused on mental health, and how to make these predictions actionable. Researchers underscore that making new analytic systems effective will hinge
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Contact: Jessica Maki
jmaki3@partners.org
617-525-6373
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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