Weathering the Data Disparity Storm

Value-Based Healthcare Cast New Light on an Age-Old Challenge
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As more healthcare providers, systems and supporting organizations embrace the ever-evolving healthcare landscape and recognize that value-based care is the cornerstone for higher quality and lower cost care, the discrepancies in infrastructure and technology needs versus current state are becoming more apparent.

With a multitude of stakeholders, lack of interoperability and data transparency, increases in administrative burden on providers and the challenge of delivering individualized care to all patients, knowing where to start is often the most daunting challenge. Add to this, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations including price transparency and interoperability standards, which are the foundations and minimal necessary requirements for a value-based care infrastructure, and the evolving landscape becomes disjointed and complex.

As you peel back the layers of the variables influencing success in a value-based care model, all roads eventually lead back to data. IDC report Healthcare Industry Journey Toward the Intelligent Enterprise (#US48354021, Nov 2021) shared that 70% of healthcare organizations aspire to be a data driven organization yet only 18% of providers are using data to drive decisions.

Making Data Meaningful: Quality over Quantity

Being data-driven is not a new concept in healthcare. However, never have healthcare organizations had so many success metrics (i.e., accurate patient risk scoring, emergency room and inpatient admission reductions, enhanced chronic disease management) tied directly to the ability to access comprehensive, dependable, and actionable data.

What does this opportunity mean? It means that to accomplish the goal of high-quality, low-cost care delivery, we must be honest about limitations in the current environment and be realistic when exploring solutions.

The creation of meaningful data is the tipping point for many. However, to fully leverage and optimize this strategy, analyzing the end-to-end process is also vital. Recognizing data driven opportunities is the first step. Understanding how to engage stakeholders, operationalize sustainable change and create a new normal will eventually separate the good from the great.

As we noted in Data Disparity: The First of Many Challenges in the Value-Based Healthcare Environment” (IDC #US49572922, publishing forthcoming), success in a value-based care model is heavily influenced by the ability of the organization to support ongoing, comprehensive data analytics that drive performance vulnerabilities and areas of opportunity. Without sufficient resources and tools, organizational financial health and quality of healthcare delivery are at risk.

To face this challenge, organizations must be aware of current internal limitations, drivers of past successes and failures and the potential gains associated with investment in a technology solution and infrastructure design that facilities the evolution of disparate data into actionable, meaningful insights.

Advice for the Technology Buyer

  • Create data confidence throughout the ingestion, curation and cleansing processes needed for a longitudinal, 360 patient view
  • Understand retrospective versus real-time data use cases that are imperative to success strategies
  • Ensure scalability to match needs
  • Prioritize end user(s) experience
  • Assess use/availability of benchmarks and KPIs
  • Ensure expertise for all stages of technology adoption/use

Organizations ready to strategically plan and execute value-based care initiatives will find themselves at the center of this new healthcare ecosystem and ready to address the evolving needs and wants of healthcare providers and consumers.  Don’t let data disparity challenges stand in the way of creating a data driven and successful pathway for patients, providers and healthcare organizations.


Jennifer Eaton is Research Director for Value Based Healthcare IT Transformation Strategies. Her core research coverage includes the use of cognitive/AI technologies to advance digital transformation in healthcare, particularly relate to value-based health, the intelligent healthcare enterprise and industry ecosystem.