Survey: Health Systems Lack Strategy to Analyze Big Data

Physician on iPadThough many health system stakeholders agree that understanding healthcare analytics can help organizations improve quality of care and reduce costs, they are still defining their enterprise-level big data analytics strategies and investments, according to a new Deloitte survey.

The 2015 U.S. Hospital and Health System Analytics Survey, which targeted health systems with revenue of $500 million or above, from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions found that, even though more than 80% identified value-based care (VBC) as a key analytics driver:

  • Fewer than half reported to have a clear integrated analytics strategy.
  • About 33% reported they do not know they organization’s total spending on analytics.
  • About 25% reported they do not have a data governance model in place.
  • More than 20% reported a decentralized model for analytics oversight.

Respondents were asked to identify barriers to analytics adoption in their health systems. Organizational culture was cited most often, followed by fragmented ownership and availability of skilled resources.

While the healthcare industry has been slow to delve into big data, analytics investment and adoption are critical for a successful shift from the current fee-for-service (FFS) payment models to VBC. According to the Deloitte survey, organizations must have a solid analytics strategy in health care organizations to support effective integration of financial, operational, clinical and other data to improve quality, provide access, control cost and manage provider networks.

Based on Deloitte’s work with clients and the results of this survey, Deloitte recommends the following to health systems who want to improve their organization’s big data analytics adoption:

  • Engage and develop committed leaders across the enterprise who are committed to understanding and leveraging analytics to deliver superior results.
  • Implement a structured data governance model and enterprise-wide analytics strategy.
  • Manage analytics capabilities and investments to drive innovation and tangible value for functional business units and programs.
  • Emphasize data and technology standards to promote interoperability and more efficient use of analytics resources.
  • Recognize the cultural aspects of leveraging analytics to accelerate insight-driven results.

Deloitte and other industry analysts project increased spending around this topic through 2020.  The estimated $4 billion to $5 billion dollar global analytics market (half of which is in the U.S.) is expected to grow 8% to 11% annually, according to the report. Analytics is projected as one of the highest areas of spending growth for U.S. health systems over the next five years.

Survey methodology: The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions conducted an online survey in early 2015 to understand health systems’ analytics investments and priorities. The survey targeted health systems with revenue of $500 million or above. Fifty respondents (about 15% of institutions of this size) completed the survey, and their findings are analyzed for this report.