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Gary Palgon

Three ways digital transformation drives improved outcomes and performance

By Gary Palgon

Data is proliferating at an astonishing pace. An IDC report estimates that by 2025, 163 zettabytes of data will be created each year (one zettabyte equals a trillion gigabytes). Organizations that can harness data and apply it to drive innovation and create efficiencies will be well-positioned to thrive in an increasingly data-driven economy. But for many healthcare organizations, integrating new data sources and managing ever-growing volumes of information is a huge challenge.

That’s because data stored in legacy applications and new information arriving from disparate sources in is difficult to integrate with other types of data, including clinical and financial records, using in-house technologies and resources. Forward-thinking healthcare organizations, understanding the incredible potential data represents, use data science to discover new ways to manage performance and deliver better care. But data integration, interoperability and management challenges often hold them back.

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A digital transformation strategy can help health systems improve patient outcomes and organizational performance. However, it requires a robust capacity to integrate and manage data. To create a path toward digital transformation, leaders of healthcare organizations should look for ways they can use data integration and management to increase freedom and focus, improve security and compliance and drive insight. Here are three benefits for healthcare organizations that pursue this path:

1. More freedom and greater focus: For many healthcare organizations, integrating and managing data is a costly struggle. Data is stored in silos, and old-school middleware systems aren’t capable of handling new sources of data that arrive in structured and unstructured formats. As a result, data scientists spend most of their time cleaning, preparing and harmonizing data to render it ready for analysis rather than actually analyzing it. IT professionals spend significant time creating integration workarounds so that they can integrate data from disparate sources and solve interoperability challenges, often using Integration as a Service (iPaaS) solutions.

There’s a better way: A single platform capable of recognizing all patterns of data and a managed services architecture is a positive step toward digital transformation that immediately gives IT teams and data specialists more freedom. With this approach, IT professionals no longer take on labor-intensive integration development projects, and data scientists don’t have to manually clean up and harmonize data, tasks that can consume up to 80 percent of their time. This new freedom allows these highly trained problem-solvers to focus on innovation and efficiency instead. Data scientists can access high-quality data and analyze it for insights, and IT professionals can quit devoting so much time to integration workarounds and focus on process improvement and efficiency instead.
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