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Dr. Mercy’s Blog: All Things Predictive

In case you didn’t know, the Supreme Court upheld key provisions of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). This decision will allow for the greatest change in our healthcare system since Medicare and Medicaid were enacted. While in some ways the envy of the world, we spend an exorbitant amount for mediocre results when taken as a whole and when compared to the rest of the world. As an Emergency Physician, I have a front-row view of the really good and the really bad of how we care for our citizens and pay for that care. Whether you agree or disagree with PPACA, we are now confronted with the addition of at least 30 million citizens to our healthcare system, not including those who will be added with the expansion of Medicaid.


What is now crystal clear is that the collective we (providers, payors and industry) are going to need to be much better at preventing illness and treating those who are ill in the most efficacious manner possible.


This new reality begs a series of questions. Can Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and other population health management schemas, such as patient-centered medical homes(PCMH) approach, achieve the gains in health and expected decreases in cost? Can we better manage or even better, prevent, complications like Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs), predictable readmissions, and other Potentially Preventable Events (PPEs)?


Healthcare delivery in this country will have to undergo massive change; of this I have no doubt. One of the biggest changes will come from how we deal with all the data we collect. By virtue of the amazingly complex number of processes involved in providing healthcare, we generate a continuous and massive stream of data. How do we use the power of this flow of raw data to turn the turbines of understanding and insight and produce downstream quality and savings?


Other industries have conquered this big-data management problem with business intelligence tools such as predictive analytics. For many years, other industries have leveraged this overwhelming amount of data and transformed it to information that helps inform decisions and streamline processes. How can we sift through and leverage the amazing amount of clinical data that will soon hit us like a proverbial tsunami?


Somewhat obviously given what I do, I believe that predictive analytics can play a transformative role in the how we deliver care while at the same time reduce the cost associated with that care. This is the promise of predictive analytics in the healthcare space – we can discover, in real-time, an individual, patient-specific intervention allowing providers to rationally apply resources driving enormous expense out of our system. Given that we’ve just added a new burden to our admittedly imperfect system, if we don’t change the current paradigm of delivery via new and innovative technology that helps our system increase capacity and quality, I can predict we’re in for a rough ride.


Join me on August 7th for a live webinar where I will I demonstrate one of the many use cases for predictive analytics in healthcare and explore how to tackle the issue of Hospital Acquired Infections.  Register Now


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