Data 3.0 is coming to healthcare - experts foretell what that means

Hospitals that haven't started making data actionable, explainable, trusted and contextualized should start now. Why the urgency? In two or three years, finding talented data scientists and other skilled workers is only going to get more difficult.
By Tom Sullivan
01:10 PM
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Data 3.0

Terry Sullivan, OnPointe CMIO, during a panel at the Big Data and Healthcare Analytics Forum Boston. Also pictured:  Kayla Pelegrin of 3M and Richard Proctor of Hortonworks. 

BOSTON — Healthcare is now on the verge of a new information wave. Call it Data 3.0.

At the core of this new age of healthcare analytics: data that is actionable, explainable, trusted and contextualized.

"Context is everything, especially in data," said Tripp Jennings, chief value and informatics officer at Palmetto Health, speaking Oct. 24 at the HIMSS Big Data and Healthcare Analytics Forum.

To achieve that necessary context, health data has to be explainable so clinicians can understand why it's important, according to Terry Sullivan, chief medical information officer of OnPointe. Ken McCardle, senior director of clinical data and analytics at Mount Sinai Health System, added that the information also has to be trustworthy.

Building on that notion of trusted and explainable data, Kayla Pelegrin, chief product owner of data informatics at 3M Health Information Systems added that data must also be actionable, so clinicians can effectively put it to work once they’re convinced to do so.  

[Also: Data governance: Make analytics 'an amazing asset']

"The value of analytics is to influence decision making, to change behavior," said Danyal Ibrahim, the chief data and analytics officer at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. "When you look at analytics are you able to answer the questions what is happening, where, who’s involved and why?"

Understanding those can help provider organizations architect an analytics strategy.

But fewer than half of healthcare organizations have reported a clear integrated analytics strategy – and only about 1 in 4 have data management or governance in place, according to Brian Doty, principal for life sciences and healthcare at ConvergeHealth by Deloitte.

Michelle Woodley, chief nursing information officer at St. Joseph Health System, urged healthcare professionals to get started now rather than later.

The most pressing reason not to wait is how hard it can be to hire the right employees for analytics projects, said Richard Proctor, General Manager of Healthcare at Hortonworks.

Data scientists, in particular, are currently small in number and as more and more organizations in healthcare and other industries hire them, that talent pool will get smaller.

The new era of data, however, is coming whether healthcare organizations are preparing for it — or not.

"We’re on the cusp of Data 3.0," Tom Boyle, a healthcare industry consultant with Informatica said. "And Data 3.0 is poised to change the healthcare business model."


  Governance will be among the topics at the HIMSS and Healthcare IT News Big Data & Analytics Forum in Boston, Oct. 24-25. What to expect:

⇒ Charlotte hospitals analyze social determinants of health to cut ER visits
⇒ Big Data: Healthcare must move beyond the hype
⇒ Tips for reading Big Data results correctly
⇒ Small hospital makes minor investment in analytics and reaps big rewards 
 MIT professor's quick primer on two types of machine learning for healthcare
⇒ Must-haves for machine learning to thrive in healthcare


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