The world has experienced a data revolution in recent years, and today organizations of all shapes and sizes produce massive amounts of data. What happens with this data after it’s created, logged, and stored in your system? The answer for most small and independent clinics is “nothing.” For a long time, only large healthcare organizations with huge IT budgets have been able to afford the staff and tools necessary to make sense of the data and information they have, but that is changing with new software and tools that help smaller clinics catch up.
What is “Big Data”?
As its name would imply, “big data” is a term that describes large volumes of data that are both structured (inside a database, EHR, or other similar systems) and unstructured (information organizations collect but don’t organize in any specific or meaningful way). The term also encompasses the idea that this data can and should be analyzed for insight and can help with better decision-making in the future.
How Does Big Data Benefit Healthcare?
The idea of using large volumes of information to analyze and make decisions has also moved into healthcare, where it can provide many benefits:
- Providing a more holistic picture of a patient and his/her overall health
- Personalizing care using information that indicates risk of disease or other concerns that could prevent disease or make it easier to treat illness
- Identifying trends in geographic areas or patient populations for certain illnesses and health risks
- Tracking information about the business of healthcare—referral patterns, physician preferences, appointment data, and more in your practice management software
- Improving the ability to do targeted marketing for your clinic-based services and patient needs
- Identifying patterns in health outcomes that can lead to better care
- Optimizing efficiencies within a healthcare system for more personalized care
As the cost of healthcare has skyrocketed, many clinics have turned to data analysis to find ways to reduce the total cost of care and help patients better manage expensive and debilitating chronic illness.
How Small Clinics Can Benefit
Collecting, storing, analyzing, and reporting on big data requires a lot of resources, which is why it’s traditionally not something small clinics have participated in, but many small clinics could benefit from it. AdvancedMD offers the tools that small clinics need to collect and analyze data, providing easy-to-read reports that analyze various healthcare trends and clinical workflows. It allows anyone—even those who aren’t tech-savvy—to have good information that leads to better decisions about patient care and clinic growth.
Find out more about how AdvancedMD tools level the playing field between small, independent clinics and large healthcare organizations and give you the capacity to use big data to your advantage.