Kaiser Leveraging Big Data to Close Care Gaps

Date: 05.15.2013 | Zach Urbina">Zach Urbina

Big DataOne benefit of Kaiser Permanente spending an estimated $6 billion for an integrated electronic health records (EHR) system to serve 9 million people across eight regions from coast to coast is it that has amassed a vast repository of clinical data. That storehouse also contains information from a patient portal, ancillary systems, smart medical devices and even home-based patient monitoring systems.

All those terabytes of electronic data now are helping to fuel a massive analytics operation, part of an overall organizational goal of improving care and reining in costs. “It’s all about the data and information, not the electronic health record,” Carol Cain, senior director of clinical information services for the Kaiser Permanente Care Management Institute, said last week at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual conference in New Orleans.

Kaiser has embraced a concept of “complete care,” which one Southern California Permanente Medical Group described as “giving my patients everything they need, whether they know it or not,” according to Cain’s presentation.

“We need to incorporate so much more data that is available,” Cain said. Data needs to be “synthesized in a meaningful way” and delivered to primary care physicians at the point of care to help suggest appropriate interventions.

Cain said Kaiser views big data as being characterized by “volume, variety and velocity.” The term “refers to datasets whose size is beyond the ability of typical database software tools to capture, store, manage and analyze,” she said.

“Our ability to monitor our members’ health is greater than our members’ ability to know what needs to be monitored,” Cain explained.

via Information Week | continue reading

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