November 01, 2016

Big Data: The Next Revolution in Healthcare Operations

Mary Beth Johnston and Leah D’Aurora Richardson, K&L Gates, LLP, Research Triangle Park, NC

Introduction

Big data is everywhere.

In healthcare, big data refers to the large quantities of complex electronic data sets that are difficult to manage with traditional data management tools and software.1 The capture, conversion and analysis of healthcare big data through increasingly sophisticated data analytics is driving new and valuable insights simply not possible with small data. Knowledge gained through big data analytics has the potential to improve the quality and delivery and lower the cost of healthcare. In fact, it is the continuing explosive growth in healthcare costs that is driving the demand for big data in the healthcare provider sector. Such demand is driven primarily by reimbursement reforms which has shifted the focus from cost and volume based payment methodologies to rewarding value, efficiency, quality and outcomes. Such payment methodologies are dependent on practicing evidence-based medicine developed through big data analytics and are critical to population health management.

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