- July 24, 2023
The Increasing Relevance of Data Gathering in the Healthcare Industry
Healthcare data collection enables systems to create a holistic view of the patient, personalize care, advance treatment modalities, improve communication between physicians and patients, and improve overall health outcomes. The application of big data in healthcare is driven by the need to solve both global and organizational problems, such as reducing the workload and increasing profits of medical institutions, and global health concerns, such as predicting and fighting epidemics more efficiently. Let us look at the critical healthcare data collection factors that can redefine patient treatment methods today.
The importance of accurate medical data cannot be undermined. There are various reasons why doctors, patients, insurance firms, and other agencies need to ensure that medical data collection is accurate. One of the main reasons is decision-making. What help can patient information be of, if healthcare providers and institutions can’t get the insights, they need to understand their patient’s needs? Medical data collection tools ensure rapid and efficient data collection and evaluation of patient outcomes. Caregivers, doctors, insurance brands, and others need to share timely information quickly and securely that can help to save lives and ensure better care.
Grow Efficiency with Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI has long been established in the healthcare sector, and with its aid, patient data collection can be made more efficient and systems can be enhanced further. The use of AI has the potential to support healthcare providers in many aspects of patient care and management processes. Artificial intelligence is powerful enough to store, process and analyze vast amounts of patient data, and will only evolve with time. The more data it gathers and analyzes, the faster and more accurate the AI tool suggestions. Some current software systems can also process patient data across the healthcare system by using proprietary healthcare algorithms to provide clinical decision support to physicians at the point of care.
As per a McKinsey study, efficient medical data collection and analysis could save the U.S. healthcare industry $300 billion annually. For hospitals and other healthcare service providers, detailed and comprehensive data insights ensure better diagnosis and treatment that help in increasing treatment efficiency while lowering costs. Gathering complex patient information and storing it in one place can help in reducing the number of repeat doctor visits and avoids unnecessary and costly readmissions.
Maximize Competitive Advantage
Employing cutting-edge patient data collection technology can easily give healthcare providers a competitive advantage over others in the same healthcare domain. For example, if dentists know the oral health issues that affect their patients most, they can custom-create services to address those needs. Patients will thereby naturally gravitate towards these dentists because they are more likely to provide the care they need.
Improve Patient Experience
Data collection creates a holistic view of the patient and improves the entire patient experience. By analyzing data from multiple sources, medical professionals can gain a better understanding of a patient’s medical history, current condition, and future risks. This also helps individualize treatment and advance treatment modalities, leading to better health outcomes.
Gain Holistic Insights
By collecting data from a variety of sources, including electronic medical records, wearable devices, and diagnostic tests, medical professionals can create a complete overview of their patients. This helps in better identifying health risks, predicting the onset of diseases, and individualizing treatment based on a patient’s medical history.
Personalize and Advance Treatment
Personalized treatment is becoming more and more important in the field of medicine. Data collection enables medical professionals to identify the most effective treatment for a patient’s condition. This improves health and reduces the risk of side effects associated with generic treatments. Data collection also helps in advancing treatments, by analyzing data from clinical trials and studies, medical professionals can identify new treatments that can improve patient outcomes. This may lead to the development of new drugs, treatments, and medical devices that benefit patients.
A personal electronic health record (EHR) is a system that gathers information about a patient’s health status from a variety of sources. The EHR includes clinical observations, laboratory results, diagnoses, current health, medications the patient is taking, procedures performed, and more. This type of health card can inform patients of the need for new tests or confirm compliance with medication prescriptions. By leveraging vast amounts of data in digital medical records, doctors can connect disparate symptoms, make accurate diagnoses, and provide appropriate treatment.
Diagnosis with Wearable Technology
The market for wearable electronic devices that monitor various activities and conditions of the human body is growing rapidly. Wearables can also relay information to the primary care physician, making them excellent medical data collection tools. Petabytes of information collected from thousands of patients are analyzed by artificial intelligence algorithms to help create an ever-expanding database that identifies dependencies between indicators and diseases. Physicians will be able to diagnose diseases early and recommend the best treatment or even prevent them altogether. Portable devices combined with analytical systems are essential components of modern resuscitation units where the health of critically ill patients tends to deteriorate rapidly. Predictive analytics can help keep these patients safe by alerting medical staff immediately and ensuring that no critical information is overlooked during treatment.
Telemedicine has been in the healthcare marketplace for decades but has reached its full potential now with the advent of smartphones, wireless wearables, and video conferencing. By eliminating the need for patients to be physically present at a clinic, telemedicine reduces the costs of healthcare services and prevents patient health deterioration. Qualified consultations can be conducted at a time and place that is convenient for both the patient and the physician.
Data collection also helps improve communication between patients and physicians. By sharing data with patients, medical professionals can educate them about their health status, available treatment options, and the potential risks of each treatment. This can lead to improved patient engagement and compliance, which in turn improves health outcomes.
Healthcare Research Journals
Research enables valuable information such as experiments, analysis, and insights for making informed decisions about patient health. Data from publications by industry leaders provide authoritative perspectives on health issues. This information helps in developing effective health strategies, including prevention, treatment, and management plans. Additionally, gathering data from research keeps medical professionals abreast of the latest trends, developments, and breakthroughs in the field. Collecting data from research helps healthcare organizations build a broader understanding of healthcare challenges.
One of the benefits of accurate medical data is the ability to proactively prevent epidemics. For instance, a patient in a specific location may have independent symptoms that can be treated individually. But with better tools that can analyze the medical data they can make better recommendations. Doctors can find people in the area with the same unrelated symptoms and prevent problems even before they occur. By using shared databases, epidemiologists and doctors can better identify trends and risk factors in different clusters and locations. This can contribute greatly to society and save lives, especially for vulnerable people.
The importance of healthcare data for early diagnosis and advancing patient treatment cannot be undermined but there are a series of challenges that hinder the optimal usage of healthcare data, let’s review some of these.
Healthcare Data Storage Challenges
While some question the issues surrounding the security of medical data collection, these issues should not be ignored. When deciding whether to implement a new data collection system, it is important to consider the following:
Data Security & Poor Data Quality
The protection and security of sensitive data is always an important concern, not just in the medical field. Organizations must comply with numerous laws and restrictions when storing data. In addition to this some database systems are much better than others, and costs vary widely. The other concern is the process of medical data collection itself. For instance, the process of handwriting and then scanning notes is relatively time-consuming and error-prone, resulting in poor-quality patient data.
In today’s complex healthcare environment, patients are often served by multiple healthcare providers, and their health information is stored in various electronic health record (EHR) systems. Interoperability is the ability of these different systems to communicate and exchange information seamlessly.
Interoperability issues can complicate data sharing among healthcare providers and create inefficiencies in healthcare systems. When patient data is stored in multiple systems that cannot communicate with each other, the risk of data entry errors, duplicate records, and outdated information increases. This can lead to erroneous diagnoses and treatments, jeopardizing patient safety and overall quality of care. Additionally, interoperability issues can increase administrative burdens and costs for healthcare providers. When vendors have to manually transfer data between systems, it can be time-consuming, error-prone, increase costs, and reduce productivity.
Interoperability is critical for accurate and efficient sharing of patient information among healthcare providers. Healthcare providers must address interoperability issues to improve patient outcomes, reduce costs, and improve overall quality of care.
Difficulties in Collaboration
Physicians use a variety of methods to enter patient information into medical records. Some healthcare brands use EHR systems, while others prefer traditional spreadsheets and paper documents. Some doctors don’t share access to certain documents with other doctors, while others allow access only to a few specialists. How you write your medical data is also important because not all doctors speak the same way. Every doctor has their own style and vision. This makes virtual collaboration very difficult.
In today’s healthcare industry, staying up to date is critical, physicians need immediate access to the most up-to-date and accurate patient information possible at every moment of the care process. Modern products and information systems allow physicians to collect the necessary patient data while creating medical charts at the point of care. Fast and accurate database systems are essential to healthcare, allowing vast amounts of patient data to be accessed with the click of a mouse or the touch of a screen. Accurate data in healthcare can be life-or-death for both individual patients and larger patient populations as a whole.