Are You Using Your Big Data Effectively?

The adoption of technology in healthcare data has had an impact on medical processes and practices that has been felt industry wide. The digitization of healthcare records and access to data storage has presented challenging milestones which has forced the healthcare industry to adapt to a quicker, more agile workflow. The days of delivering information over a fax machine are quickly coming to an end, so how is the healthcare industry handling the digital data disruption?

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 While technology has served to advance the healthcare sector, it has also come with a number of challenges. The persistent threat of hacking and data integrity looms over many healthcare providers as their information is usually stored digitally where the right hackers would have access to important health documents. Due to the overwhelming number of successful phishing and ransomware attacks in 2017 over 1 million people in Australia opted out of having Electronic Health Records for fear that their information would be leaked.

In a digital and mobile society, it is important now more than ever to understand what digital data means for a growing healthcare industry and how we can use it to our advantage. Big Data must be broken down into manageable and intelligent pieces of information that can be fed into a system that is able to predict patterns, determine diagnoses, and frame out financials. So how can you ensure your Big Data is being disseminated in the best way possible?

1. Security

Keeping your system secure and your employees up to date on cyber security needs to be at the forefront of every healthcare organization. Common security measures such as encrypting sensitive data, using multi-factor authentication, using up-to-date anti-virus software, and continually updating your firewalls can circumvent many cyber attackers looking to steal your patient’s data.

2. Meta-data

Not just for SEO and tagging photos. In order to successfully store and organize your data it is vital to your organization to tag your incoming data with information such as: date created, department, purpose, creator, previous users, etc. to help researchers and analysts properly disseminate the data and turn it into something actionable. Without meta-data, Big Data remains in the information pool instead of turning into a useable and actionable train of cohesive thought that can be used for forecasting and predicting patient and practice behavior.

3. Cleaning

As Big Data is brought into your system it is vital for it to be scrubbed to ensure accuracy, consistency, and correctness. If you opt to process the information manually it can take up valuable man hours, however many institutions are employing automation and machine learning techniques to reduce time and expense, as well as stop bad data from sidelining important projects or research.

The digital age is here and as it continues to grow and adapt, we must grow and adapt with it. As we adopt more technology into our organizations it is vital that we take the proper precautions to keep the data secure, categorized, and scrubbed.

As you move into 2020 it may be worth your time to ask how your data is being handled, how is it currently being secured, and are your patients best served by the data and information you currently have? Are you able to look at your Big Data from 2019 and turn it into something actionable for 2020? If not, it may be time to employ a partner in your advancement into the digital workspace. If you’re curious how you can move your office forward, give ImagineSoftware a call – we would love to help you move into the new century of data management.

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