Data: health and social care sector

Data plays an increasingly important role in both health and social care. A number of national policies require hospitals organization to continually measure and improve services.

Importance of data in health care planning in UK

As we move into an increasingly evidence-based health care system, it becomes critical for providers to embrace data. Following are some of the reasons data is crucial in this sector.

Meaningful data allows clinicians and hospital staff to make informed decisions to improve quality of care.

In his post, Park talks about how data-powered IT tools are “enabling clinicians to analyze their patient population, understand who needs help (including and especially patients who haven’t been able to come into their office), and proactively reach out and give those patients the care they need.”

In addition, being able to monitor and analyze clinical data allows facilities to understand where programs are working – and where they need improvement.

Aggregating data from different areas allows facilities to see the bigger picture.

Instead of keeping data separate across various repositories, creating a comprehensive system allows health care providers to see how their organization is doing on a macro level. By seeing the full picture of a facility’s data , financial and clinical  management can see how business practices affect clinical performance.

Quality data means higher facility performance.

Registries, insurance companies, and third-party payers are now, more than ever, closely examining a facility’s numbers. By ensuring that the data they provide is error-free, health care facilities can accurately represent their performance and receive maximum reimbursements.

How demographic factors affect health care in planning and delivery

As our country gets bigger, older and more diverse, the ever-evolving composition of the population will have profound effects on the U.S. health-care system and the people in its care. Changes in population size, age, race and ethnicity affect the health-care resources needed, the cost of care provided, and even the conditions associated with each population group. Health-care organizations will have to adapt quickly to meet their patients’ changing needs—all while addressing health-reform requirements.

An Aging Population

As each  year ushers in new health care reform requirements, hospitals will need to form more partnerships with other providers. This helps to create a complete continuum of patient health-care. Hospitals will need more specialists in the diseases and conditions of aging, including chronic disease and palliative and hospice care. Moreover, hospitals will need health-care professionals who can help patients address end-of-life care issues. Consequently, hospitals will have to tap into technology to enhance care coordination and proactively manage this aging group menace.

Racial Diversity

Health care systems must regularly assess their community’s makeup to accommodate specific health needs and socioeconomic circumstances. Since the census is conducted every 10 years and population makeup can change rapidly due to economic downturns or natural disasters, health-care organizations should rely on data from the American Community Survey, a mandatory annual sampling of the population conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, for their planning needs.

Cultural and Religious Differences

Health-care professionals must be cognizant of the cultural and religious differences within their patient community data. Cultural and religious preferences may put the patient in harm’s way. Health care givers need to communicate clearly and in a respectful manner to address such differences.


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