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Data and Analytics Will Dominate Healthcare IT Spending in 2012

By December 26, 2011Article

In 2012, healthcare providers will finally have the data they need to run as businesses. As healthcare providers make increasingly better use of data from Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and beyond, the data-related IT requirements of healthcare payers and providers will converge.
Informatica expects to see healthcare providers increase IT investments in 2012 in the following aspects around data and analytics.

  1. Government incentives will continue to fuel momentum in taking patient data digital via EHRs. This year, in preparation for penalties that become effective in 2015 under the HITECH Act, proving “meaningful use” of the data in electronic health records will become a strategic imperative.
  2. In 2012, IT pros within healthcare providers will be able to lift their heads up from EHR implementation and will begin to look at new ways to use patient data to enable innovative care.
  3. The unprecedented availability of data available to healthcare providers and payers will drive changes in patient care that will not only reduce costs but also save lives through evidence-based medicine. This will require that providers and health insurers invest in first-time enterprise data warehouse projects or invest in a “next generation” warehouse for organizations that already have an EDW in place.
  4. New financial and accountable-care models will require providers to have unprecedented insight into their patients, their providers, where patients are seen and the relationships between them. This will be required to support analytics across organizations, being able to hold providers accountable for individual patient outcomes and to drive coordinated care across the virtual enterprise.
  5. Healthcare providers will emerge from the implementation of new clinical and financial applications (to include EHRs to meet “meaningful use”) and turn their attention to analytics and business intelligence.
  6. Health insurers will accelerate their adoption of customer relationship management (CRM) solutions as a competitive necessity as insurance exchanges and consumer choice become more commonplace. This will be paired with a continuing shift from health insurers’ historic focus on claims processing as the core business function and will bring new urgency to data quality and data governance as strategic imperatives.
  7. Healthcare providers and health insurers will begin to converge on a common data model that includes both claims data and clinical data – bridging the health insurers’ traditional interest in claims data and providers’ traditional strength in clinical data. Data integration solutions will be key to making this convergence a reality, as master data management and data quality capabilities are essential enablers.
  8. Application retirement will become big business for healthcare providers as they struggle to realize the ROI of new clinical and financial systems implemented to meet “meaningful use” and HITECH requirements. Retiring old applications will be a strategic priority for IT departments as CFOs demand real cost savings and CIOs focus on keeping the growth of operating budgets in check.
  9. Information security and privacy will finally become a strategic imperative for both health insurers and providers as the growing volume of patient data in electronic form and a growing need to share this data make current half-efforts at information security too costly and risky to continue. Solutions that minimize the volume of PHI and mask data in both production and non-production applications will become commonplace as a primary means of mitigating the risk of a PHI data breach.
  10. One or two leading provider and health insurers will leverage Big Data to gain competitive advantage in their markets by understanding and reacting to consumer sentiment expressed through social networking sites.

Richard Cramer is the Chief Healthcare Strategist for Informatica. He is responsible for working with Informatica’s healthcare prospects and customers to understand their business and clinical objectives and ensuring Informatica’s products and solutions meet the needs of the healthcare market. Immediately prior to joining Informatica, Richard was the Associate CIO for Operations and Health Information Exchange, with deep experience deploying interoperability solutions to connect healthcare communities. Richard has worked in senior roles for providers and vendors for more than 15 years, and brings a broad and diverse perspective to any discussion of the role information technology can play in improving healthcare. Richard is a frequent speaker on the topic of connected healthcare and health information exchange.

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