Pop health reality check: What have health orgs actually done?

By Jeff Rowe
09:44 AM

Big data in healthcare is the talk of many towns, but a new study by the Spyglass Consulting Group finds that for many systems there remains a long road ahead.

Part of the problem is that physicians, for the most part, still don't have the training to do big data analytics.

"The initiatives have yet to be defined, as it's a departure on how physicians and care teams have been trained in the past," Gregg Malkary, managing director of the Spyglass Consulting Group recently told Future Care colleagues at Healthcare IT News.

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In many places, however, Malkary added, that training is underway. 

Moreover, while the study found that 79 percent of providers are using analytics and big data to support population health, many are still struggling to determine how to incorporate the results into their practices.

"Right now, big data and analytics is being used to see risk, but we need to expand to see where it fits into healthcare," Malkary said. "Many organizations are still struggling to find a place for it and are still in the early stages of integration. Some organizations have done some positive work, but we're a long way from harnessing big data."

He said that with the transition into pay-for-performance care, institutions are recognizing the need to reduce readmissions and increase patient engagement, and many are also focusing on ways to support chronic health patients recently released from the hospital.

Where population health initiatives has your organization conducted thus far? 

Related articles: 

Healthcare big data draws lessons from Moneyball stats 

5 hurdles en route to population health 

Post-EHR era? Not so fast! 

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