Three Ways Predictive Analytics is Changing Health Outcomes

Couple's health outcomes improved with predictive analytics

As the digital health system of the future evolves, the health information ecosystem expands along with it. The robust flow of data is the fuel health systems need to transform quality, safety and performance, informed by data that can be easily exchanged, mobilized and transformed into actionable insights and knowledge that enable people to achieve better health outcomes.

When health systems focus on keeping people well, care delivery is able to shift toward person-enabled, proactive approaches that strengthen health by reducing risks, with outcomes data guiding and informing care strategies. This use of predictive analytics really puts the “information is power” adage to work.

Here are three different ways predictive analytics can transform care, and support health and wellness—while also empowering healthcare professionals to deliver care that achieves the best possible outcomes for every individual.

1. Personalized Care Delivery

We know there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach to care delivery that achieves value for every individual. Personalized care focuses on improving health and wellness for every individual, within the unique context and circumstances of their lives.

Analytics make it possible to track an individual’s progress toward their personal health goals, and generates the real-world evidence clinicians need to inform care decisions that are personalized to the needs of each individual. Analytics transforms data exchanged from multiple sources—including social, genomic and biometric data—to generate insights about the uniqueness of each person.

Why is personalized care delivery so important? When empowered with data and information that reflects their personal experiences and needs, people are more likely to feel compelled to act and become engaged in managing their personal health—whether through setting goals for daily exercise, tracking eating habits or setting other personal health goals.

“The insights derived from personalized health data can help engage people more meaningfully in care approaches that fit within the unique circumstances of their life situations,” remarked Anne Snowdon, RN, PhD, FAAN, Director of Clinical Research at HIMSS.

“Digital tools personalized to each individual build health literacy and meaningful connectivity to providers that enable people to become partners in their care, versus feeling just like a number. It provides the opportunity for care wherever, and whenever it is needed, so it’s more personalized.”

Personalized analytics transform data, at both the individual and population level, into knowledge and insights that prioritize care delivery to achieve personalized health outcomes.

2. Proactive Risk Identification

One health system shares with HIMSS TV how its data and analytics heart failure pilot realized a 23% reduction in utilization.

Tracking health outcomes using analytics generates clear insights into health patterns and trends by population segment, geography, age, ethnicity and social determinants of health. Ultimately, analytics have the power to define best outcomes and the condition under which best outcomes can be achieved for individuals and population segments.

Health system analytics proactively identify risks, and alert clinician teams to inform preventive measures that focus all energy on reducing risks and keeping people well, Dr. Snowdon explained. “Worldwide, we’re seeing certain population segments harder hit with COVID-19 than others. Analytics allows us to better understand the unique circumstances that contribute to the variation in outcomes, to inform care strategies best suited to the unique needs of each population,” said Dr. Snowdon.

“Throughout the pandemic, we are peeling back the layers of what drives outcomes in health and wellness. We’re developing a deeper understanding of social determinants of health and circumstances with lifestyle behaviors, and multiple chronic illnesses which all influence outcomes,” she said.

To proactively manage unique needs across specific population segments, predictive analytics track progress and provide valuable insights that can inform care decisions that advance health and wellness.

“Health systems, generally speaking, engage with people only once they become ill, need a diagnosis or face a health challenge,” Dr. Snowdon said. “Advances in analytics proactively identify strategies that can help people stay healthy and well… it’s all about working with real-world evidence to help us better understand where and what, and more importantly, how to proactively mitigate risk.”

3. Improved Operational Outcomes

With the myriad of challenges facing healthcare professionals in the workplace, mobilizing data to inform decisions across health systems is a hallmark feature of a high-performing health system, fueled by predictive analytics.

Through operational analytics, health system performance outcomes related to efficiency, productivity, workflow, safety, quality, workforce capacity and sustainability, supply and logistics outcomes, financial and adverse events are all mobilized to advance performance.

“We know through emerging outcomes data—that not every pathway has the same impact or value for every patient. Decision-making has to be informed by accurate, real-time flow of data and evidence.”

Insights from dashboards and analytics solutions provide the evidence leadership needs to inform decisions: decisions based on the real-time flow of data across health systems. Operational analytics tools can also track productivity, workforce capacity and sustainability within a health system.

Through the use of predictive analytics, we can continue to create more personalized, proactive approaches to care delivery that improve health outcomes. Only then can we create a truly person-enabled healthcare ecosystem that keeps patients meaningfully supported by health teams, committed to improving health outcomes.

Digital Health: A Framework for Healthcare Transformation

Health systems are at a crossroads—they are facing financial and resource limitations, while consumers are looking for more personalized care. The digitally enabled health system of the future focuses on health and wellness, and is the key to connecting consumers to health systems that will have a transformational impact on care delivery and quality.

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