Health systems stepping up investment in analytics, survey shows
- Health systems are stepping up adoption and investment in analytics, with 84% of executives surveyed saying the technology will be extremely important to their organization's game plan in three years, up from 36% currently.
- Compared with 2015 when just 12% of health systems had a C-suite leader dedicated to analytics, nearly a third (30%) had one last year, according to the survey of 56 CIOs, CTOs and chief analytics executives conducted by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.
- Seven in 10 of those surveyed said their organization has defined strategies and visions for use of analytics versus 40% in 2015. Nearly nine in 10 had dedicated analytics departments (88% versus 76%) and more than two-thirds had centralized governance models (68% versus 58%).
The findings reflect other surveys that show healthcare organizations are revving up investment in digital technologies. In a KPMG survey released in September, 78% of life sciences CEOs called technology investment a strategic rather than tactical maneuver, and 43% planned to grow investment in disruption over the next three years to achieve corporate growth goals.
Enthusiasm for analytics was also strong, with 73% of respondents saying they trust the accuracy of predictive analytics over historic data.
Another survey conducted by Sage Growth Partners for supply chain management vendor Syft found data analytics was key to supply chain improvement, with the highest-performing hospitals leveraging actionable data to tie costs to patient outcomes.
The Deloitte survey, conducted late last year, sought to determine the extent to which health systems have upped their investments and use of analytics for clinical, operational and financial purposes since an earlier survey in 2015. Both surveys focused on health systems with annual revenues of $500 million or more and included a mix of for-profit and nonprofit systems, integrated delivery networks, multistate systems, academic medical centers and freestanding hospitals.
In the 2018 survey, improving clinical outcomes and cutting costs were the leading drivers of analytics use. Rounding out the top five were pursuing revenue growth opportunities, enabling value-based care and population health, and supporting new payment models.
To support growing interest and adoption, health systems are deepening their investments in analytics infrastructure, resources and scope, according to the report. Systems that have successfully laid the groundwork are also shifting analytics-related hiring to roles that comprehend use of the data. Of those surveyed, 29% said their system plans to hire data scientists, 21% said they are looking for visualization designers and 21% wanted data architects over the next three years.
Yet while 84% of health system leaders see analytics playing a key role in the next three years, 30% still don't have an integrated strategy for analytics.
Deloitte suggests health systems just embarking on analytics start by defining a vision and drawing up a plan that includes analytics as part of an overall business strategy. Systems that are farther along should consider upping the ante by taking advantage of advancement like AI and predictive analytics.