The recent report by Volterra Partners and EMC shows how data analytics can help improve the healthcare sector in the UK. Entitled Sustaining Universal Healthcare: Making Better Use of Information, it noted that the UK National Health Service (NHS) has a £34 billion funding gap by 2020. For it to stand by one of its core values of providing “free healthcare of everyone”, it needs to take a proactive stance on delivering the Wellness Model Structure, a model focused on wellness and prevention. Together with analytics, it can improve efficiency in the NHS by up to 60%.
The NHS has been experiencing an increased demand for acute care and chronic disease readmissions, mainly to a rise in the aging population. Coupled with an inefficient allocation of resources, the NHS needs drastic help. And data analytics and technology can help.
How Data Analytics Can Improve Efficiency in Healthcare Service Delivery
Data analytics presently lacks in the NHS. There is a lack of electronic records that in turn results in loss of predictive analytics – missing a critical phase in healthcare called effective monitoring of patient treatment and outcomes.
Two countries come to mind as examples on how data analytics help the healthcare sector – Scotland and the United States.
According to the Volterra report, Scotland has been using data analytics to provide an integrated care model to help treat diabetes. Driven by data with the help of analytics and technology, it has shown significant results – major amputations have fallen by 40.7%, and lower extremity amputation has decreased by 30% in over four years.
In the United States, big data is now seen as an essential tool in delivering treatment and predicting health trends. The NHS and other healthcare systems around the world is studying Kaiser Permanente’s Health Care Model, an integrated care approach that heavily uses big data to help draft care for patients and predict trends in illnesses. Kaiser has been using big data to help care for newborn patients in their hospital system and developed an online calculator to determine risk of sepsis in preterm and newborn babies. This has helped Kaiser hit statewide benchmarks, something the report is driving at.
According to the report, if the NHS invests on data analytics and uses it as part of their healthcare delivery plan, it stands to save up to £32 million because of reduction in readmissions, £5 billion in saving staff working hours through more efficient working practices through analysis of current trends, predictive outcomes – this is basically knowing what treatment works in certain diseases, predicting illnesses over a time period so they can do preventive measures right away.
The Challenge of Using Data Analytics
Data analytics needs investment on both the infrastructure and training of skills in the health workforce to make it work. It’s a long, but fruitful transformation, one that can be eased by outsourcing some of its operations. Medical outsourcing isn’t just about medical billing or transcription anymore, as we have said. It can refer to a myriad of different services. Infinit Healthcare’s talent pool can handle claim processing services and individual functions or end-to-end processes at a fraction of the cost of an in-house staff. We can provide a dedicated team for the healthcare service you need to be done efficiently and accurately so you can never lose control of other essential business functions.
No matter how cliché the statement, “Health is wealth” can be, it is definitely something that each individual should take into account. Need not worry though, because we can provide your medical institution all the assistance you’ll need through our exceptional patient services such as billing, coding, and even back office responsibilities. Learn more!