Why Your Organization Needs to Tap Health Data Analytics

Staff Writer | Health Data Management | January 14, 2016

If there were any doubts about the value of data analytics for healthcare organizations to turn data into actionable insights, a new book from the American Health Information Management Association attempts to put those doubts to rest and provide step-by-step instructions for analyzing data and using statistical techniques. The co-authors of the book—David Marc and Ryan Sandefer, faculty members at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn.—argue that proficiency in data analytics is increasingly important for all health information managers and health informaticians as the industry embraces quality improvement initiatives.

Their book, Data Analytics in Healthcare Research: Tools and Strategies, includes case studies on how to conduct healthcare data analytics, providing insights on databases and statistical software for data extraction, normalization, transformation, visualization, and statistical analyses. Health Data Management spoke with Marc, an assistant professor at the College of St. Scholastica and the graduate program director for health informatics, who previously worked for a biotech company where he developed predictive data models for the diagnosis of neurological and immunological diseases.

HDM: How will your book help healthcare organizations as they venture into the area of data analytics?

Marc: The book offers them the opportunity to really learn how to do data analysis. And, the way that we formatted this book was to give a very hands-on delivery method to maximize their understanding of how to do analytics—a tremendously growing area in healthcare today. We have more and more data that’s being collected, particularly data in an electronic format because of the growth of electronic health records. As a result, there’s greater need for having trained professionals that know how to work with data. Those healthcare organizations that know how to leverage the use of data and to make decisions based on that data have a leg up on the competition...