Health Care Organizations Unprepared for Big Data Challenges: Oracle Report

The health care industry struggles to manage a "data deluge" as doctors try to make sense of electronic health records and collect data for financial and risk management, according to an Oracle report.

IT managers aren't prepared to handle the deluge of data in health care, Oracle revealed in its new report, "From Overload to Impact: An Industry Scorecard on Big Data Business Challenges," released July 17.

More than three-fourths (77 percent) of health care executives gave their organization a "C" or below for managing the "data deluge," according to the report, which is based on a poll of 333 U.S. and Canadian C-level executives from health care and 10 other industries. For all industries, 60 percent of the executives assigned organizations a "C" or lower for managing the flood of data.

Following the Supreme Court's June 28 decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as "Obamacare," data volume will grow as providers form accountable care organizations (ACOs), according to Marc Perlman, global vice president of Oracle Healthcare.

"With the rise of [ACOs], a greater focus on personalized medicine and the rollout of health care reform, data volumes will continue to grow," Perlman said in a statement.

Companies such as Dell, IBM and Oracle provide the IT infrastructure to store genomic data in the cloud used for drug discovery. This data will allow doctors to develop personalized medicine for patients.

"This report demonstrates the challenges that health care organizations face in managing their rapidly growing information stores and their approach to addressing this issue, including deploying industry-specific and analytical applications that help them glean insight and put timely information in the hands of line-of-business personnel when and where they need it," Perlman's statement said.

Of health care executives interviewed, 0 percent gave their organizations an "A" for data "preparedness," and only 8 percent of executives in all industries gave their companies an "A" for this category.

Health care organizations are accumulating 85 percent more data than two years ago, according to the C-level health care executives Oracle interviewed.

Of the data managed in all industries, 48 percent came from customer information, 34 percent from operations, and 33 percent from sales and marketing, according to the report.

Despite EHRs being a top priority for health care organizations, they're struggling to make use of the data from the health records, according to the survey.

Of health care organizations surveyed, 34 percent were able to capture data from EHRs to help patients while 43 percent were unable to collect sufficient data to improve care.

The surge in big data also came from management of doctor-patient relationships as well as financial and risk management. Of respondents, 63 percent are looking to collect data in financial management and 57 percent in risk management.

In addition, 93 percent of respondents from all industries believed their organizations were losing revenue by not being able to manage data.

"This study shows that up to 14 percent of a company€™s revenue is lost because enterprises are challenged to manage and analyze data, which grows exponentially as we speak," Oracle President Mark Hurd said in a statement. "Enterprises can get ahead of the game by using these challenges as catalysts for companywide strategic change."

According to the report, 87 percent of health care organizations and 91 percent of financial firms were most likely to employ software specific to their industry.

"Through industry-specific applications and technologies, enterprises can transform data into measurable business benefits," Hurd's statement said.