Big Data Governance for the Healthcare Sector
Big Data is powerful, persistent and -- increasingly for those in the healthcare sector -- of paramount importance. Healthcare organizations rely on Big Data analytics to manage risk and understand trends and outcomes, but analyzing such massive quantities of data, especially with the speed and agility required for making sense of it, can be a staggeringly complicated endeavor. It can also be staggeringly expensive to ignore: According to the US Insurance Data Management Association, unreliable, incomplete, or poor-quality data cost organizations between 15% and 20% of their operating budgets.
To provide high-quality care while also optimizing business operations, health systems must integrate data from a complex matrix of electronic health records (including those housed at multiple hospital branches or affiliate institutions)
It's not always possible or desirable to add additional full-time workers to manage Big Data. Instead, data governance -- a process for regulating data acquisition and data sharing, optimizing workflow and ensuring data quality -- is becoming an indispensable tool for supporting the strategic clinical and financial optimization of healthcare organizations.
Emerging in tandem with a move toward data governance is a move toward a model where CXOs, including CFOs, function horizontally across business lines. Successful CFOs know they need to play a role in data governance, both in terms of application and data content layers, with the understanding that Big Data will outlast facilities, devices and people, and is arguably a company's most valuable asset. Data, to put it simply, is where the money is.
Data governance, like all day-to-day hospital operations, requires both cultural buy-in and oversight, and many organizations in the healthcare sector are establishing Data Governance Committees and Data Stewards to ensure that data is complete, valid and timely -- the trifecta of well-governed data.
One example comes from the realms of chronic disease management and clinical decision support. To manage health risks to the population - and specifically to manage chronic diseases - providers must be able to identify patients at a high risk of developing conditions such as diabetes, heart failure, and chronic kidney disease (CKD), which can be both harmful to the patient and costly for the provider. When a proper data governance plan makes Big Data available to care providers through electronic health records & other means, those providers can develop risk scores, monitor patients, & provide precision care by dividing patients into specific cohorts depending on their needs.
For such an approach to gain traction, however, the data being used must be trustworthy, and for it to be trustworthy it must be accurate. There are a number of data governance measures healthcare CXOs can take to assure that faulty data analysis does not cause confusion or, worse, lead to mistakes in clinical decision-making. Care must be taken to clean the EHR data before it is analyzed, and both pinpoint and account for missing data and errors, which tend to arise when workflows are not aligned with assumptions about process. Eliminating non-standard data terms & definitions is also key, as is ensuring that data is automated and gathered at optimally controlled time intervals so that data points do not conflict with one another or turn up missing from pertinent datasets.
An example of the impact access to data can have is on the research arm of the healthcare sector. Providing researchers across disciplines with proper access to large datasets means that health science can move from hypothesis-driven science to "hypothesis-
The purpose of data governance is not to "own" data, but to use data for better decision-making. In the most effective organizations, the data governance and information security committees are combined & given adequate autonomy from executive leadership to allow for maximum agility, efficiency and collaboration.
RoundWorld Solutions' Big Data 360-degree Tool can help CXOs customize an end-to-end data integration and governance framework that allows all stakeholders to jointly design and optimize data.
"We can work with you to account for and address problems common to efforts in data governance -- including multiple siloed databases, insufficient infrastructure and a lack of cultural buy-in -- in order to provide consistent, accurate and trusted enterprise-scale analytic insights," says RoundWorld Solutions CEO Ajay Sarkar.
"A better handle on data and data flow will give C-suite executives a better handle on how to balance corporate priorities with other demands in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible," Sarkar continues. "RoundWorld believes that Big Data is of the utmost strategic value, and our template-driven tools are designed to help you harness that data to deliver not just growth and profits, but better patient care."
If you would like to discuss the Roundworld Solutions Big Data 360 View Tool, or this article please contact Emi Hara - Vice President, Solutions and Delivery. For more information on ICCG or our CXO Interview Panel, please contact us today.
Public Information Officer
Emi Hara, MBA