What’s in a large set of data? As it turns out quite a bit of information, and the evolving modern healthcare initiative is out to find it. By now the terms big data, interoperability, and evidence-based treatment have been on the streets for some time, and they have been echoed over and over again in the wake of the healthcare changes surging across the nation. The trends derived from this information can drive better practice procedures and improve patient care both within the office and throughout the healthcare community at large. Let’s look at four ways that data is beginning to drive healthcare—and more importantly the domain of chiropractic—toward a more positive, impactful future.
1. The Patient Level
Data is driving evidence-based treatments and enhancing practice processes across the nation, resulting in a higher quality of healthcare. When healthcare is founded on historical information and research that has been analyzed and applied to current practice processes, better treatment can occur and lead to better outcomes and happier patients. Data that can now be exchanged between one healthcare provider and another also produces more accurate diagnoses and better communication along with a more seamless, informed, and successful experience for the patient. Happier patients lead to a more prosperous business, and data-driven courses of care are helping to support that goal.
2. The Practice Level
At the practice level, electronic health records systems are now required to assist in this endeavor by carefully and specifically providing guidance throughout the treatment roadmap. With reliable care reminders and alerts, and a system that works with providers to increase adherence and consistency in methodical treatment processes, providers are able to increase the loyalty, confidence, and trust of their patients by providing better clinical results. In short, technology that supports the proper application and collection of data results in good outcomes, which results in happy patients, and which ultimately leads to a more successful practice.
3. The Payer Level
Big data means big changes in the way that chiropractic is being perceived both within healthcare and in the community at large. With a new onslaught of data from providers shot-gunning chiropractors into a position of strong participation in the activities of the healthcare industry, data-driven results are quickly substantiating the efficacy of chiropractic treatment and making the long-loathed challenge of receiving full and reliable payments that much easier. With chiropractors assuming greater accountability for services rendered, payers are able to rely on better, more successful courses of care, and providers are able t experience the benefit of higher reimbursements for these validated treatment options.
4. The Policy Level
We’ve established that data-driven care helps accurately define treatments and improve patient outcomes. However, data aggregation at the practice level also helps healthcare governors recognize the relative success of treatment outcomes and adjust healthcare policy accordingly. In this new era, the chiropractic community is now positioned to help drive the change that has been profoundly lacking in the greater healthcare conversation. With chiropractic information now readily available en masse, policymakers have no option but to recognize and include the quantifiable achievements of the nation’s Doctors of Chiropractic.
Data-driven policies and procedures demand that the chiropractor collect information and apply it meaningfully to the treatment of their patients. Under this model patients are already beginning to experience better outcomes as this information is analyzed, assessed, and transferred down into today’s evolving practices, manifesting in the form of more successful courses of care. Not only does this benefit the patients themselves, but it incites progressive changes in upper level healthcare policies, helps chiropractors collect reliable payments from payers, and positively impacts the nation’s impression of chiropractic.