Analytics Can Change Health Care: Study

by Vangie Beal

An International Institute for Analytics (IIA) research study finds that analytics is critical in the health care and life sciences industries.

The International Institute for Analytics (IIA) has released findings from its six-month Health Care and Life Sciences Analytics Research Council (HARC) study that the group says demonstrates that analytics can change health care.

According to the technology and market research organization, analytics-based tools for statistical methods and analyses and a quantitative approach to patient decisions can improve patient outcomes and control health care costs, among other benefits.

IIA founder Tom Davenport presented the results of the recently concluded HARC project during his keynote at the recent annual SAS Health Care & Life Sciences Executive Conference. At the conference, IIA also announced the launch of a permanent HARC service as a subscription-based service that uses an experience-based research approach to uncover the strategic value obtained by payers, providers and pharmaceutical companies from using analytics.

IIA says its research project confirms that the use of analytics helps decision-making about patients and their care, but how best to use analytics is still an issue for all sectors of the industry involving patients, providers, payers and health care technology organizations.

"The changing environment in health care and life sciences brings new pressure on decision-making and places a greater premium on analytics," said IIA CEO Jack Phillips. "We believe the targeted application of analytics will fundamentally change how health care and life science organizations operate, how patient care is delivered and paid for."

According to the IIA, analytics in health care and life sciences provide extensive benefits, like using historical data to model future trends, to evaluate decisions, and to measure performance in order to improve business processes and outcomes. These analytical tools are at the heart of "evidence-based medicine," according to IIA.

Analytics also helps keep patients better informed and better equipped to decide which providers are most effective and whether they are getting the best price possible.

"We have found that each of the health care sectors progressively adds analytical capability at varying rates," said Phillips. "For true progress, analytics must be employed collaboratively across each sector — providers, payers and pharmaceutical firms must share data and analyses on patients, protocols and pricing with each other and with patients. Because of this evolution, IIA has established the HARC to track, evaluate and analyze the adoption of analytics in the health care and life sciences industry and the benefits provided to the sectors."

For more IIA research, see Nine Business Analytics Predictions for 2011

  This article was originally published on Tuesday May 17th 2011
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