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The Healthcare system and industry services and billing has been nothing but complexity and has yet to deliver on high value health care benefit plans to consumers without also hurting providers and payers. The advancement of computer technology has made it more important to create data reports that carry valuable information inside of them, input that can help with changes to improve on medical practice efficiency and the overall healthcare industry practices.

Between caring for patient’s health needs and keeping medical practices going with timely payments for services rendered, the healthcare industry must look at where there are inefficiencies within the system and do what they can to change it. Big companies like Microsoft, Dell, IBM, and Oracle, are now analyzing data from hospitals and patients records in order to generate data that will help the healthcare industry reduce costs and add value.

According to an IBM report titled, “The Value of Analytics in Healthcare,” written by James W. Cortada, Dan Gordon and Bill Lenihan (2012),

“Healthcare organizations are increasingly using analytics to consume, unlock and apply new insights from information. New methods of analytics can be used to drive clinical and operational improvements to meet business challenges…Healthcare organizations need to use analytics to accomplish a broader range of objectives than industry at large” (p. 3, 4).

Many might question if this is somehow an invasion of privacy and if this allowable. Susan McAndrew, deputy of health information privacy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ office for civil rights stated, “Federal law prohibits medical providers from disclosing certain health information without patient consent, but there is an exemption for activities that fall under quality improvement” (cited from Businessweek.com click here for original article).

Information is the key to improving whether it is for an individual or for large industries and corporations like those involved within the healthcare system. What is the data these large companies are researching and reporting? They are searching through patients’ medical records and identifying health predictors that might send a patient back to the hospital. More and more the healthcare industry is turning to take advantage of what these big companies have to offer in way of analyzing large amounts of data.


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