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Health data analytics growing, despite interoperability woes

Health data analytics is increasingly popular, particularly in precision medicine and revenue cycle management, despite health data interoperability challenges.

Analytics is well established in the business enterprise world.

Now health data analytics is making significant inroads in health IT, not only in population health but also in other relatively new areas such as precision medicine and revenue cycle management, according to tech reporter Ed Burns.

Burns should know.

As site editor of TechTarget's SearchBusinessAnalytics, Burns covers business intelligence, analytics and data visualization, among other topics. He also is grounded in health IT, having previously reported on it as a writer for SearchHealthIT.

Burns was also the first guest on SearchHealthIT's HIT Squad podcast series. In this episode he talked with SearchHealthIT reporters and HIT Squad members Shaun Sutner and Kristen Lee about health data analytics and other topics he's reported knowledgeably on, including sports analytics.

As for precision medicine -- sometimes called personalized medicine, and often associated with genomics and oncology -- Burns said it certainly holds promise but is not yet a mature discipline, as was noted in a recent Boston Globe story that Lee asked him about.

Burns' sources said that the well-documented problems in pulling data out of different vendors' EHRs -- a marked lack of health IT interoperability -- make using analytics tools more difficult.

Speaking of EHRs, Burns also pointed out many healthcare providers choose to use systems from third-party vendors for health data analytics rather than relying on vendors' own, generally more limited, analytics offerings.

Burns also seconded what many health IT industry people are seeing -- an ongoing intersection of clinical analytics and healthcare business analytics.

After all, as Burns and Sutner stated, healthcare organizations need to generate positive revenue flows, even if many provider organizations are non-profit.

Health data analytics can help them do that.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Shaun Sutner, news and features writer or contact @ssutner on Twitter.

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This was last published in October 2015

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