September 9th, 2013
Posted by Stephanie Kreml, M.D.
With nearly the same trepidation often reserved for a major weather disturbance and its aftermath of health issues, hospitals and providers are dealing with the arrival of “big data.” While handling large amounts of information is hardly a new idea, now there are regulatory requirements to meet, and vast volumes of test results, patient records, and other data to harness and transform into actionable information.
Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicare is levying (or soon will levy) penalties on hospitals that don’t reduce 30-day readmissions of myocardial infarction, heart failure or pneumonia patients; don’t use electronic health records to determine outcomes; and don’t reduce hospital-acquired infections. In addition, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Institute will collect data on 12 million patients in a long-term program to match certain treatments with provable improved outcomes. Large quantities of data are becoming available about healthcare systems and institutions, along with requirements for using it. Read the rest of this entry »