Data 'crucial' to delivering improved patient outcomes

By Jo Makosinski | Published: 28-Sep-2022

Karen Senior, strategic lead for the NHS at Oracle, reveals why healthcare providers need to refine their approach to data in order to deliver better patient outcomes

Data will be at the heart of a healthcare revolution.

The global healthcare big data market is set to be worth $71.6billion by 2027, with providers investing as much as 25% of their total budget in technology.

Driving innovation in diagnostics, life sciences, and operational efficiency, data helps healthcare professionals to place a greater focus on patient care and wellbeing.

Equally, AI and cloud computing will support the creation of more-integrated care systems that make use of all available health data to improve treatment plans.

Going on a journey

Access to the right data, and the technology to leverage it effectively, will also unlock greater healthcare value.

By understanding the unique journey of each patient, from diagnosis to the efficacy of specific treatments, and the management of any adverse effects, healthcare professionals can make informed decisions that can ultimately lead to better outcomes.

However, there are barriers to achieving this intelligent, connected approach in healthcare.

For starters, data is fragmented, which makes it difficult to deliver efficient, personalised care.

Meanwhile, growing compliance and cyber security challenges require healthcare organisations to be pro-active in the way they approach governance.

Piecing together the data puzzle

The healthcare industry faces unique challenges when it comes to data.

Traditionally, healthcare institutions have bought and operated their own systems, with disparate patient records left scattered across different providers and databases.

Patient data becomes fragmented, within organisations and the industry at large.

And, as with any silos, this breeds inefficiency and makes it difficult to use data both to serve the needs of the individual patient and society.

When this data is completely anonymised and used in aggregate, it is invaluable for larger community, and even worldwide, analysis, diagnosis, research, and action.

To unlock the potential of health data, the traditionally-well-managed structured data needs to be brought together with unstructured data to create a single view across a range of data sets.

Healthcare organisations are just scratching the surface when it comes to collecting data from an ever-increasing range of sources.

Data from telematics, wearables, and patient apps are often stored in massive data lakes, which amounts to looking for a needle in a haystack with it comes to finding key insights.

Moving to an autonomous database in the cloud enables providers to use their data to its full potential and deliver insights that improve patient care.

Powered by Oracle Analytics Cloud and Autonomous Data Warehouse, Sejong Hospital in South Korea has transformed the lives of over 1,600 children suffering from cardiac disease.

The collection of data throughout the medical process and seamless delivery of real-time information to medical teams means that life-saving decisions that used to take hours can now be made in minutes.

For American Hospital Dubai, its major digital transformation also aims to deliver better patient outcomes using data.

Partnering with Cerner and Oracle, the hospital implemented a new electronic health record system to help physicians deliver a better patient journey, as well as introducing a resource planning platform to help it reduce costs and enhance productivity.

This integrated patient data also drives the hospital’s AI and robotics research work, leading to further patient benefits.

Healthcare is not one size fits all

But no two patients are the same. They have different healthcare needs, treatment plans, and contact preferences. And yet most patient care remains standardised.

The pandemic has driven increased patient expectations, with the rise of virtual appointments and mobile health alerts increasing the range of personal experiences patients receive.

Indeed, telemedicine platforms alone have seen a 1,000% growth rate.

If healthcare providers double down on personalised patient experiences, online and offline, then everyone gets the right support for them.

In addition, outcomes can potentially be improved by ensuring better individual patient adherence to treatment plans.

Implemented effectively, a rigorous approach to data management can deliver greater personalisation and lower costs.

Coloplast A/S, a Danish multinational that develops and manufactures medical devices, empowers patients with a personalised support programme.

Built on Oracle Eloqua, Coloplast Care supplements the help patients receive from nurses and doctors, providing them with information and support that is personal to them. This kind of support can minimise the risk of preventable conditions, improving patient care and reducing pressure on healthcare services.

Integrated patient data also drives the hospital’s AI and robotics research work, leading to further patient benefits

Integrated patient data also drives the hospital’s AI and robotics research work, leading to further patient benefits

Working within the confines of regulations

The majority of consumers worry about the security of their health data, and personal healthcare records are rightly subject to protections.

Providers can work with regulations, leveraging data to deliver better patient outcomes in a compliant, secure manner.

These systems run in line with regulations such as the GDPR include categorisation and safeguards specific to health data. They also include data localisation requirements, which are especially sensitive for cloud-based healthcare providers.

This makes robust governance paramount, not just to protect patients, but also to protect organisations from prosecution.  

Data-driven healthcare

We have seen that the healthcare providers which get their data management in order deliver better patient care and gain a competitive advantage.

Connected and secure data will not only drive improvements within healthcare institutions – it will feed into broader medical advancements, increasing diversity and efficiency in clinical trials, which can result in getting new treatments to market faster.

The responsible use of healthcare data can save lives, and we have only just begun to scratch the surface of what can be achieved.

As Dr Shetty from Narayana Health, the world’s largest heart hospital, says ‘we believe in God, but for everything else we need data’.




You may also like