Le recomendamos este artículo escrito por Kylie Jane Wakefield, en el portal techpageone, que explica la importancia del talento y soporte en la industria sanitaria para poder sacar lo meor de la cantidad ingente de datos que se reciben diariamente.
Health care is one of the largest industries in the United States. It employs 16 million people, or one in eight workers, and is on the rise thanks to the baby boomer generation. By 2029, people ages 65 and older will make up 20 percent of the population and will need to utilize the health care system more than ever.
This sounds like good news for the industry. There’s only one problem: It lacks the talent and support needed to deal with all of the incoming data.
According to a Software Advice survey from last June that analyzed 200 business intelligence job listings across the U.S., 18 percent was made up of health care positions. Seventy-five percent of these jobs required that a candidate have prior experience in the health care field.
The health care industry has been focused on the short term, capturing data and satisfying the government. It hasn’t developed the talent to really do something with data, said Lorren Pettit of HIMSS Analytics. Photo courtesy of Lorren Pettit
“It’s quite clear that business analytics and intelligence are needed,” said Kent Bottles, M.D., a medical consultant. “If we don’t use sophisticated tools we will be behind, we won’t provide good care, and it’ll be ridiculously expensive.”
Traditionally, health care has always been slow when it comes to business intelligence and implementing new technology. “They are so far behind other industries,” said Vince Belanger, principal, CBIG Consulting. “The systems are complicated and convoluted and make it difficult to support.”
Bottles echoed the same sentiments. “In general it’s a conservative industry,” he said. “It doesn’t like to be on the leading and cutting edge of things.”
Because the infrastructure is so complex, it’s expensive to maintain, according to Belanger. It’s also old, and there are so many people involved that it can’t be fixed overnight. “There’s a lot of moving parts in health care,” he said. “We’re dealing with a lot of partners in order to provide care. It’s hard to uproot, move and transform.”
As seen in the job listings in the U.S., it’s a Catch-22 to be able to work as a health care business intelligence analyst: You had to have done it before. A recent graduate of a business intelligence program couldn’t walk out of college and get a job immediately.
There is also a disregard for business intelligence on the human side of health care. Bottles said that part of the problem is the culture of physicians, who tend to be more traditional. “I spend a lot of my time trying to convince physicians that they need to engage in electronic records.”
According to Lorren Pettit, vice president, market research, HIMSS Analytics, health care is not a high-tech industry. It’s more high touch. People go into doctors’ offices and interact one-on-one with the staff. Generally, everything is done in real-life situations and relationships are created. It’s never been high tech. He said, “Now that tech is coming in, it has that potential to diminish high touch and focus on high tech.”
Moving forward with the Affordable Care Act
If health care does not catch up, it runs the risk of wasting money and being technologically behind, which can have a trickle down effect on patient care. To solve these issues, in 2012, the Affordable Care Act started implementing changes that would standardize billing practices, decrease the amount of paperwork produced, and encourage physicians to instead utilize electronic health records.
In addition to these new regulations, Belanger said there have been drastic shifts in technology and the introduction of big data that has forced the health care business to catch up.
Right now, health care isn’t looking toward the future and figuring out how it will handle data, said Pettit. “Everyone has been focused on short term, which is capturing the data and satisfying the government. They haven’t developed and brought the talent in to really do something with data.”
Belanger said that to truly change how health care uses technology and business intelligence, “it’s going to have to be a whole team of events, starting with how we train the current workforce. How can we help them understand new ways of working with data and a new approach? Do the legacy systems have people supporting them?”
The attitude toward business intelligence must advance as well. “We have to have a culture that embraces analytics,” said Pettit. “We need to accelerate that and realize high tech is here to stay. The shift has happened, and we need to get on board.”
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