We have come a long way from treating data as a pure technology topic that is separate from the healthcare industry. For a decade or longer, data analysis has become an integral part of the healthcare industry. The crucial question here is to ask is whether we’re efficiently analyzing the data and whether its benefits are being leveraged to the maximum.
The outbreak of COVID-19 and the challenges that came along with it like ensuring effective distribution of oxygen and medicines is an apt example of why healthcare organizations need a predictive and prescriptive data management system. This is where DataOps, a system of looking at data from a holistic perspective of people, processes, and technology, comes in handy. DataOps is a process of agile data integration that focuses on improved collaboration and automation of data flows that provides various functions within an organization with significant access to the data and insights.
Challenges for the healthcare industry when it comes to data
The healthcare industry consists of an ecosystem of public, private, and government entities. There is a massive amount of data generated every minute, most of which is present in disparate, non-integrated systems. The sheer volume of unsynchronized data limits the efficacy of a healthcare system – for example, doctors not having access to updated patient records, medical research teams struggling to interpret new findings, billing departments incorrectly processing insurance claims that directly impacts revenue, and so on. Ensuring compliance with strict regulations related to the privacy of patient data is a critical challenge for most organizations. What healthcare companies truly need is a system that will provide them with data that is current, synchronized, and readable by anyone in the system that helps them draw insights.
Implementing DataOps for healthcare
While implementing a DataOps strategy for your organization, it is important to consider the following four aspects:
Improving accessibility of data: Making sure that the updated data is real-time and accessible to all the relevant roles within the system is a critical aspect of implementing DataOps. Open, cloud-based architecture along with the usage of data management platforms having the capability of continuous data integration helps in improving the operational efficacy. In many organizations, most of the medical data is stored in the old HL7 format. Adoption of FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) API will help in faster implementation of DataOps.
Making data more secure: Monitoring the available data and implementing tight access controls in compliance with HIPAA and other such regulations is the backbone of DataOps implementation. To realize true data security, it is important to have an enterprise data catalog that records data traceability and governance systems.
Monitoring Data Quality: It is critical to closely monitor the accuracy and quality of the data, eliminate the redundancies, and automate the communication to the respective stakeholders. Organizations can maintain their data quality by integrating compliance with business logic and continuous comparison with data sources.
DataOps Experts: While DataOps will help you automate data flows, DataOps experts are needed to understand the data requirements across the organization and help orchestrate the data flow in a predictable manner. With the implementation of DataOps, data teams transition from being suppliers of data insights to architects of an ecosystem that enables and empowers everybody in the organization to draw insights.
Advantages of DataOps for healthcare
Implementing a good DataOps strategy has many benefits. Following are the top advantages that will help you realize why every healthcare organization should implement one:
Predictive analytics for planning staffing and bed capacity: The sudden and global pandemic led to a shortage of medical equipment, staff, and infrastructure in many countries around the world. DataOps can play a decisive role while planning the necessary hospital bed capacity, staffing needs, equipment preparedness, and so on. In a hyper-competitive business world where carefully calibrated usage of resources is the need of the hour, DataOps can go a long way in making healthcare organizations more profitable and sustainable by enabling them to plan their staffing, equipment, and infrastructure needs in a predictable manner. This can also make a big difference in the quality of treatment and patient satisfaction.
Remote Diagnostics & Telemedicine: Technological advances have enabled the healthcare industry to rely more on remote diagnostics and telemedicine. DataOps will help in maintaining a systematic record of such patients and leveraging it for analytics and further usage.
Patient data registry: An open patient data registry (while protecting personal information) can be a huge aid in pushing clinical advancements and finding new and less invasive cures, especially for critical diseases like cancer. It is equally useful when the healthcare system is trying to find cures for new diseases like COVID-19. A well-synchronized system like DataOps can go a long way in helping medical professionals and clinical researchers in giving access to valuable patient data.
Enabling better leverage of technologies like AI: Effective implementation of DataOps also enables organizations to better leverage other advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). The spread and cure of any disease is dependent on multiple variables like demography, population density, age, gender, etc. AI & ML can analyze massive datasets to help draw insights on factors that impact the spread of a disease. DataOps is a great enabler for the implementation and leverage of such technologies.
Implementing DataOps is one of the best ways for the healthcare industry to be future-ready. It has the potential to truly transform patient care. The ability to systematically store data, leverage modern technologies to analyze it, and most of all, giving the opportunity to everyone in the system to access and draw insights, are the biggest benefits of implementing DataOps. This is the right time for all healthcare providers to gear up and be prepared for anything that comes next. If you’re looking to explore and implement DataOps for your organization, connect with our experts and we can help you devise a perfect implementation plan.
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