Regardless of whether you are a patient, provider, or payer, healthcare data has the power to transform your experiences and produce better, more effective outcomes. As the industry becomes increasingly data-driven, let’s examine a few ways in which digital health innovations are driving change.

Power to the Patients

We can thank the popularity of Fitbit and other wearables for patients’ growing comfort levels with tracking and sharing their personal health data. In addition, the fitness trend has made consumers increasingly interested in getting the best care and value from their providers. Harnessing data to deliver a coordinated, patient-centric experience is key to providing the type of service consumers will increasingly expect at every healthcare touchpoint—from treatment through to billing.

Reducing Costs

According to a recent InformationWeek piece, improving data collection and analysis could save the healthcare sector 25 percent of its total costs. The article also underscores that duplicate records can be a significant cost center, tallying as much as 1,950 dollars per patient per inpatient stay and over 800 dollars per ER visit. Better access to patient data also enables healthcare organizations to address cost issues that arise due to patient wait times. For example, if a patient arrives early or late, appointments can be rescheduled, and resources can be optimized in real-time based upon provider availability.

Improved Patient Care

It follows that using data to better manage the patient experience results in higher customer satisfaction scores. Important though these may be, what’s most critical for patients and providers alike is harnessing data to provide better, more personal care. This is happening already and will only continue with the advancement of digital health technologies like telemedicine.

For example, the InformationWeek article examines a trial of remote monitoring correspondence between diabetics and their physicians, wherein doctors were notified via text of patients’ poor glucose levels. Through the text conversations that followed, the doctors improved their knowledge of the patient, the quality of care they offered, and how triggers like stress impacted the patients’ insulin levels. In the future, expect cognitive artificial intelligence (AI) systems to build on this personalization by sifting through vast quantities of data to provide physicians and staff with nuanced, contextualized patient insights. As previously mentioned, this level of service will be expected not only at the point of care but also in patients’ interactions with hospital billing, insurance claims, and other operational stakeholders.

Of course, these opportunities are only possible when healthcare institutions have high-quality, integrated data that is widely accessible throughout the organization. As such, no matter where a hospital or healthcare provider may currently fall in the digital transformation journey, resolving issues around data access, integrity, and bias is essential to moving on to the next phase.