How Data Analytics Are Uncovering Hidden Trends in Medical Records

Health care has come a long way since the introduction of the first electronic medical record more than 40 years ago.

How Data Analytics Are Uncovering Hidden Trends in Medical Records
On Analytics

Data analytics can be used to provide increased value in today’s health care environment by:

  • Helping physicians to identifying best treatment approaches for patients with chronic diseases

  • Predicting the likelihood of illnesses occurring or recurring in the community

  • Measuring the successes or lack of success with various treatment options

  • Identifying strategies to reduce the risk of medical errors or chances for readmission to the hospital

  • Assisting with identifying patients who need additional evaluation

Today’s advanced electronic health records (EHRs) don't simply store patient information so it can be easily retrieved. Instead, they can compute some of the health information they collect in ways that help improve patient care. 

The data explosion

Modern, fully functional EHRs have the ability to improve health care by assisting physicians in accurately diagnosing diseases, identifying risks, and reducing errors. EHRs give health care providers faster and more reliable access to an individual’s medical information. This in-depth functionality can assist providers in diagnosing patients more quickly and more accurately, which can potentially be lifesaving in the event of an emergency.

The data captured by health care organizations continues to grow at a staggering rate. But gathering data is just the first step. The real power lies in unlocking the knowledge that is hidden within all of that health care data. The true value of an EHR cannot be realized until the data is turned into useful knowledge. When EHR data is carefully analyzed and evaluated for trends, the information that is otherwise hidden within the confines of the individual record can be unlocked and used to drive decision-making and improve health outcomes. 

One exciting and crucial benefit of the introduction of EHRs has been the ability to analyze data for not just individual patients, but for entire populations of patients. Providers who have EHRs can now more easily and quickly obtain and analyze the data for the entire group of patients that they serve, and can then look more closely at the records of individuals who meet a set of criteria. This enhanced EHR functionality aids health care providers in identifying patients who may benefit from management of their risk factors to improve their lives and overall health.

Gaining insights

Unlocking all of the health care data that was formerly undiscovered involves utilizing data analytics to help put all of the individual health care data into context and make it usable and actionable. 

Data analytics is frequently used in health care to look at the way individuals respond to various treatments or to evaluate the responses to different types of medications or treatment protocols. By analyzing the outcomes that groups of individuals have to these various forms of treatment, health care professionals can more accurately predict possible future outcomes for individual patients, and help with determining the best treatment approach for a patient. 

Patients today are looking for a health care delivery system where they receive individualized health care that is delivered at a convenient place and time for them. With the help of modern EHRs for data capture and analysis, health care professionals are discovering new ways to customize health care to each person’s distinct needs and wishes. This helps to ensure that more patients will have successful and positive outcomes in the future.

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