Deloitte taps the Zen of data analytics

Healthcare organizations will be able to answer the 'hard questions'
By Bernie Monegain
06:42 AM
Deloitte taps into the Zen of data analytics

Envisioning a future when healthcare is data-driven in a big way, Deloitte Consulting has launched a new business unit and is investing between $150 million to $200 million in life sciences and healthcare analytics and launching ConvergeHEALTH, a new business unit to give the work of transformation momentum.

The formation of ConvergeHEALTH is one part of a $150 million to $200 million investment Deloitte is making in life sciences and healthcare analytics. It combines Deloitte's capabilities in health analytics with its services in consulting.

"Healthcare systems are facing multiple pressures now that really make analytics and in particular the secondary use of healthcare information really move from a nice-to-have to really, truly an imperative for survival in the coming years," Brett Davis, Deloitte consulting principal and general manager of ConvergeHEALTH, tells Healthcare IT News.

Increased statutory reporting around quality, the shift of value-based reimbursements structures, continued focus on cost reduction and other imperatives mean healthcare systems are going to have to truly become data-driven organizations, officials point out.

The difference between today and a couple of years ago, Davis says, is the transactional systems are there to make it possible to create data-driven organizations.

Healthcare organizations will be able to answer what Davis calls the "hard questions": What works for whom, why, in what context and at what cost.

"Healthcare is our biggest industry in revenue, both in the U.S. and globally," notes Andrew Vaz, chief innovation officer for Deloitte Consulting.
"We're making roughly a $150 million to $200 million dollar investment in health analytics, and our clients are telling us since we started making these investments that this tight combination of product, content and transformation services is dramatically accelerating their transformation journey."

Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City is one of the organizations on this type of journey.

There, the goal is to derive insight from two trillion unique medical data elements, collected over 40 years and to make those insights available to physicians, hospitals, manufacturers, vendors and payers across the country on a subscription basis. Deloitte and Intermountainn released a product schedule at HIMSS13. At HIMSS14 Deloitte will be showcasing ConvergeHEALTH.

"Intermountain Healthcare understands 'best care' and how to achieve it on a consistent basis; higher quality means significant elimination of waste and significant reduction in the cost of care delivery," said Brent James, MD, chief quality officer, Intermountain Healthcare, in a statement. "Intermountain had the data. Deloitte had the consulting services and the distribution network to make that better care widely available."

[See also: Intermountain, Deloitte put data to work.]

As Davis sees it, ConvergeHEALTH is unique because what healthcare faces today is much more than a technology challenge. In fact analytics.

"Unlike implementing an EMR, where there's a go live date, analytics is more like Zen because you're in a constant state of becoming because when you get one insight, it creates three more questions that you want the answer. So the transformation to a data-driven organization is much, much more than a technology challenge."

"The investment in ConvergeHEALTH has accelerated our ability to deliver integrated analytics and insights to our clients," says Vaz, who views Deloitte as uniquely positioned to help clients in this area because of its breadth and depth of service capabilities and the new platforms they are building.

[See also: A sign of the times: Deloitte acquires Recombinant.]

ConvergeHEALTH will initially provide solutions in three key areas:

1. Clinical and operational excellence: analytics, services and insights to enable health systems to help optimize business and clinical processes, reduce variation, enhance programs, improve patient safety, productivity and margin to offer higher quality care with lower costs.
2. Value-based care: solutions and insights to improve population health management and clinical outcomes, manage risk, reduce unwarranted variation, coordinate care, leverage evidence-based guidelines and support new reimbursement models.
3. Research excellence: solutions and insights to improve clinical and translational research capabilities, enable personalized, genomic medicine, support comparative effectiveness analyses leveraging real world evidence and improve safety and disease surveillance programs.