By Kirk Larson, Regional Chief Information Officer, NetApp Healthcare
It’s widely known that the effective use of innovative data management solutions has the potential to drastically improve patient care. As such, there’s little doubt that ‘Big Data’ is ready for healthcare, but is the healthcare industry ready for ‘Big Data’?
To explore this question, NetApp and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) surveyed CHIME members to collect their thoughts on the state of data management preparedness in healthcare organizations across the U.S.
The majority of respondents (79%) feel that an effective data management roadmap is important for healthcare organizations moving forward. Managing exponential data growth and disparate data repositories were noted as the biggest challenges CHIME members are currently facing. Addressing these concerns simultaneously is crucial for the healthcare industry to fully realize the potential benefits of ‘Big Data.’
With improving care and outcomes as primary goals, providers are focusing efforts on developing effective workflows and integrating proven technology for collecting, storing, managing, and delivering patient data where it’s needed most: at the point of care. Always-on, always-available electronic health records and analytics will play a critical role in meeting these goals, and improving public health in the future. However, the majority of respondents (69%) admit their organizations don’t have a concrete data management plan in place, and 79% have either only an individual, small group, or no one at all charged with data governance.
While the current level of preparedness appears to not meet the expectations of end users, the need to manage data effectively is fast becoming a major priority for healthcare organizations.
A gap between where the industry is and where it needs to be with data management still exists. Changing healthcare organizations’ mindsets and understanding the importance that data will play in improving patient care in the future is the first step to mending that gap.