A report by PwC reveals that health care organizations believe clinical informatics is a valuable tool for improving patient care.
organizations see clinical informatics as an important factor in managing
patient care, according to a new report
by PwC's U.S. Health Research Institute.
Clinical informatics combines technology, patient care, financial reporting and
collaborative data sharing.
For the March
2 report, called "Needles in a Haystack: Seeking Knowledge With Clinical
Informatics," PwC surveyed 600 health management professionals at
pharmaceutical companies, provider organizations and health insurers to find
out how they're using clinical informatics. In addition, PwC interviewed 30
health care executives to get insight on trends in clinical informatics.
The benefit of
clinical informatics is its ability to improve patient outcomes by analyzing
patterns in population health. This process is called predictive modeling.
professionals told PwC they strongly believe that informatics could improve the
quality of care, with eight in 10 providers reporting that clinical informatics
could reduce medical errors. Meanwhile, 61 percent of the health professionals
believe the technology could improve population health.
industry moves from payment per visit to payment for outcomes, clinical
informatics will help health care professionals track conditions and patterns
in patient populations, PwC reported.
surveyed, 48 percent of providers, 70 percent of insurers and 39 percent of
pharmaceutical companies were using clinical informatics to improve care.
ramping up this capacity very quickly, and it's core to their mission in
delivering health care and serving their members in producing pharmaceutical
drugs, medical devices and diagnostics," Daniel Garrett, health
information technology practice leader at PwC, told eWEEK.
percent of providers and 91 percent of insurers considered using clinical
informatics to get patients to adhere to their medication schedules as a goal
for the next two years. In addition, 71 percent of pharmaceutical companies
believed that electronic health records (EHRs) could help them analyze what
causes patients' noncompliance with medication.
The study also
found some barriers to using clinical informatics to help patient care.
Although 56 percent of respondents would like to see data standardization, 86
percent considered this a challenge for the health care industry.
and health insurers surveyed, seven in 10 said their top goal was to integrate
data from multiple sources, but fewer than half of health care organizations
exchange data outside their company. In addition, 87 percent of pharmaceutical
companies expressed reservations about the quality of data from EHRs.
research is based on the philosophy of W.
, who created the concept of a "closed-loop
process" to help companies such as Ford Motor and Toyota use statistical
methods to improve manufacturing processes, said Garrett.
Just as data
from the factory floor can impact how products such as cars are manufactured,
patients' feedback to doctors on which treatments worked can improve future
health care, he explained.
want to decrease cost and up quality, you have to use this data in a
closed-loop fashion," said Garrett. "You have to take that digitized
medical data and put it in an actionable format and work with the health care
community to turn that actionable data into an improved way of delivering
health care IT is shifting from people who can develop EHR applications to
health care professionals who can make clinical data actionable, according to
Garrett. Doctors are looking to pull data out of EHR applications, he said.
surveyed, 58 percent have hired nurse informaticists, who are trained to
interpret medical data.
successful, [health professionals] need to develop an integrated approach
between the clinical and technical aspects of this," he explained.
"It's not just about aggregating and acquiring the data; it's also [about]
the process of integrating that data into how doctors deliver care."