In a healthcare landscape in which providers increasingly receive funding based on patient outcomes — rather than patient volume — it’s more important than ever for organizations to do everything in their power to optimize processes. This explains why so many healthcare orgs are turning to data for insight on how to improve functions across the board.

Here are just four ways today’s healthcare organizations are putting data analytics to use.

Improving Population Health Management

One result of the shift toward value-based care is providers are looking at individual patients and entire populations — using data to help predict and prevent chronic diseases, increase wellness, optimize healthcare costs and more.

According to Healthcare IT News, healthcare organizations are embracing the following tech to enhance population health management:

  • Electronic health records (89 percent)
  • Patient portals (76 percent)
  • Patient engagement systems (76 percent)
  • Telemedicine technologies (65 percent)

These sources offer more data for providers to consider when making decisions about how to improve outcomes among entire populations, as well as for individual patients.

Predicting Patient Health Issues Early

Patients still face risks after arriving at a hospital, like sepsis or sudden deterioration in their conditions. Healthcare providers are using predictive analytics to identify patient risks before symptoms become obvious to the naked eye or the vital monitoring systems.

According to Health IT Analytics, one hospital was able to use a machine-learning algorithm to monitor electronic health records and identify patients most likely to experience sepsis — 12 hours before the actual onset of sepsis.

Instead of waiting for patients’ vitals to go south as an indicator something is wrong, hospitals are using the wealth of patient data available to pinpoint risk factors for patient deterioration and address them proactively.

Increasing Claims Recovery

Hospitals collectively lose out on billions of dollars every year due to insurance claim denials, commonly defined as anything. Payers initially deny around nine percent of hospital claims. Hospitals typically go on to secure payment for about 63 percent of those originally denied claims, but this still leaves a lot of money on the table. And, the last thing hospitals can afford to do in such a competitive industry is absorbing the costs of denied claims.

Data can help here.

One not-for-profit system, Intermountain Healthcare, used healthcare data analytics powered by ThoughtSpot to detect gaps in physician training for submitting insurance claims. The result? Providers were able to address these gaps and improve their success rate for recovering claims.

 Improving Supply Chain Management (SCM)

You might associate supply chains with retail and manufacturing operations more than healthcare organizations, but those supplies and equipment have to come from somewhere. The money hospitals invest in this area can affect both profitability and quality of patient care.

One consulting firm was even able to identify “an average total supply expense reduction opportunity of about 18 percent for more than 2,300 hospitals.” The savings came out to just under $10 million per hospital. These numbers show just how crucial effective, data-driven SCM is to maintaining profit margins.

SCM is poised to help organizations cut costs while also boosting the quality of care available. However, many organizations are still using manual data entry to handle SCM as opposed to advanced data analytics. This can help providers extract actionable data insights pertaining to their supply chain strategies. Data can even reveal the need to rethink certain supplier and vendor relationships to optimize supply chains.

These four ways represent just the tip of the iceberg on how modern healthcare organizations are harnessing data analytics to drive patient outcomes and profitability.