Applied informatics can improve quality


Applied informatics can utilize big data to improve everything from healthcare quality to data security, according to a new report.

The report, titled ‘Making Data Smart’, appears in the February 2014 Journal of The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). It points out that with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and the ongoing shift away from fee-for-service payment systems and toward value-based care, healthcare organizations are becoming much more data-driven.

Applied informatics aims to take big data and transform it into meaningful healthcare intelligence that can be used to analyze the healthcare landscape at any scale. This can be done at a “30,000-foot level” for national healthcare policy, at local and institutional levels for identifying areas of improvement for care delivery or regulatory compliance, or even the individual patient level.

When done correctly, big data-driven analytics can streamline administrative processes, boost quality of care, and save a lot of time and money.

The report reviews the way data is being used to address and solve healthcare problems, including identifying patients in a health information exchange environment to track which patients have had their identities matched with other organizations, how many records have been exchanged, and who has accessed the information; improving quality metrics in critical regulatory focus areas via computerized clinical decision support in physician workflows; tracking patients in a geographic area as they move from hospital to hospital; and tracking various readmissions data to improve understanding of patients who readmit, when, and why.

“Healthcare delivery will benefit from our expanded understanding of health intelligence and our putting this understanding to good use," said Lynne Thomas Gordon, chief executive officer, AHIMA. "AHIMA's aim is to support HIM professionals and the industry as it appropriately aggregates, analyzes, and leverages the vast array of healthcare data at its disposal.” 


Applied informatics, healthcare quality, data security, AHIMA