Ancore Health believes that traditional healthcare organizations must develop an offensive data strategy in order to survive and thrive in a value-based payment marketplace. Cross-industry studies show less than 50% of structured data is used in making decisions, less than 1% of unstructured data is analyzed, more than 70% of employees have access to data they should not, and 80% of analysts' time is spent discovering and preparing data1.
The healthcare industry has been focused on a defensive data strategy, which is critically important given the strict regulations surrounding the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) and ensuring proper controls to protect Protected Health Information (“PHI”). However, traditional healthcare organizations must equally prioritize the need to defend this information while efficiently providing actionable data for clinicians and administrators to diagnose issues and make the right decisions.
This balanced prioritization requires a new way of thinking about data strategy, with a clear distinction between a defensive and an offensive data strategy. Offensive data strategies must involve strong collaboration between technical, financial, clinical, and operational leadership and resources.
What is the difference between and offensive and defensive data strategy?
A defensive data strategy is about the creation of a single source of truth from disparate data sources and ensuring accurate and secure data storage. By comparison, an offensive data strategy is about transforming the data into actionable insights, providing flexibility to end users to drill into root cause issues, and to create their own reports.
What happens when healthcare organizations are void of a coherent defensive and offensive data strategy?
The absence of a robust defensive and offensive data strategy often times results in data silos, duplicate staffing, data distrust, and multiple versions of the truth. As a result, it becomes easy to point fingers if performance suffers and difficult to drive accountability throughout the organization.
To make matters worse, more money is typically spent managing this “Frankenstein” through overbuilt staffing and underutilized “bolt on” business intelligence technologies.
Core components of a coherent data strategy include people and governance, data sources, an enterprise data warehouse (e.g., a single source of truth), enrichment and transformation, visualization, and distribution.
Why is having a coherent data strategy a critical success factor in today’s healthcare landscape?
Healthcare spend in our country is projected to be 19.4% of GDP by 2027 2 and the Medicare trust fund will be in the red by 20263.
Something must give, either through private market innovation and/or cuts in reimbursement (e.g., site neutral payment reform).
Non-traditional healthcare organizations, such as Apple and Amazon, see this opportunity as “red meat” and have entered the healthcare market. These retail and consumer-oriented organizations have built robust offensive data strategies related to their core businesses. They see innovations within the healthcare market as a win/win/win in terms of new product development, reduced employee health cost, and more loyal and productive employees.
Additionally, with nearly $1 trillion of committed capital available4, healthcare private equity deals are on the rise, focused in areas like data analytics and efficient care delivery. However, potentially the most impactful driver of change will be the combination of shifting risk to the consumer through high deductible plans and price transparency.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is seeking public comment on whether patients have a right to see the secretly negotiated prices between healthcare providers and insurance companies, in an effort to “empower the American public to shop for their care and control it.”
As the market moves towards informed consumers and increased transparency, healthcare organizations need a robust offensive data strategy to ensure market and brand relevancy.
Ancore Health believes that a robust offensive data strategy with strong collaboration between technical, financial, clinical, and operational leadership needs to be a core competency of any healthcare organization.