Population Health and "good enough" Data

A consultant who supports analytics for population health and quality of care recently told me that frequently, they can only access 80% or less of the total data needed for these initiatives.

If that data is truly random and characteristic of the whole body of data, than acquiring 80% of it is pretty good, perhaps even great. But what if that 80% comes largely from one population sub-group. What if it represents patients who are local - city-dwellers who live nearby and come directly to your facility for lab work and other tests - while the missing 20% is a completely different population. Perhaps this 20% is defined differently by lifestyle, geography or other variables because that population cannot easily come to your facility?

This may well be an example of 80% not being “good enough”.

So, what prevents the data from those patients from being used? Likely the data is not interfaced to your systems. When this patient data is sent to your hospital, it arrives via fax or is otherwise "stuck” in a document.

What if extracting that data from those documents could be automated and require no manual data entry - would you add that data to the pool? Would the additional data be valuable to you in terms of supporting the health of that population and complying with data requirements?

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About the Author: Ellen Bzomowski

With 20 years of experience in data capture and voice recognition, Ellen’s experience has focused on achieving higher efficiency and automation in getting data where it will be most useful to an organization. At Extract Systems, she continues to focus on the same ideas and works to get the word out about how Extract Systems’ advanced data capture and redaction solutions make more data valuable and accessible, while securing anything that is private. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University and lives and works in Boston.