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RESEARCH & RESOURCES

Improvements in Data Quality Could Yield Up to $42.1 Million for Healthcare Organizations

New research reveals the costly impact of bad data on staffing, decision-making, and clinical care.

Data is an invaluable resource that informs nearly every choice we make, but poor data quality can have devastating effects on decision-making and financial outcomes. When it comes to health and patient care in particular, the stakes are at their highest.

New research from Sage Growth Partners, commissioned by InterSystems, involving C-level leaders from top healthcare organizations reveals just how critically and financially important harmonized data is and how investing in higher-quality data can yield better benefits and decisions for patient care.

Hospitals and healthcare organizations (HCOs) currently face a number of data challenges, from a growing number of disparate data sources to erroneous and siloed data in fragmented repositories. These inefficient practices can impose a significant financial burden. Research shows that 43 percent of IT staff time is spent on data extraction and harmonization. Cutting that time in half could save an HCO upwards of nearly $1.6M in three years. 

The report suggests that implementing what has come to be known as a smart data fabric can unify and democratize information, ultimately improving the finances, management, and operations of a health system. A smart data fabric can embed a wide range of analytics capabilities, including business intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning, to make it easier and faster for HCOs to process and share more accurate data. By implementing a smart data fabric and true interoperability standards across an entire health enterprise, HCOs could save upwards of $42.1 million over the course of three years.

The report looks at the cost of manual data input, duplicate and inaccurate testing, and errors during transition of care as some of the impacts of poor data quality. It also considers the costs of shadow IT systems -- hardware, software, or other programs not supported by a central IT department -- and finds these currently consume 40 percent of the total IT capital budget. Reducing them by half could save the typical HCO $10 million over three years. 

For more detailed information, read the recent market report “Bad Data, Bad Analytics, Bad Decisions.” You can also download the full white paper.

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