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Big data problems in healthcare call for BPM implementation

Tara Charles
November 28, 2012

Hospitals face a growing data sharing problem. The healthcare industry as a whole is making a large-scale conversion from paper-based records and manual processes to electronic health records and, still, mostly manual processes. This creates an environment in which many clinical staff members experience significant operational disruptions to go along with the innovative options offered by EHR infrastructure. While these problems are present, advanced technological solutions, such as business process management software, can help hospitals handle the technological changes sweeping through the industry.

According to a recent Healthcare IT News report, one of the most daunting problems in healthcare is the issue of big data. In many cases, the term is used too freely in the sector, and ends up creating problems because it is not understood properly in some areas.

Understanding big data in healthcare

Big data is a genuine technological challenge in healthcare. However, the vast majority of the structured and unstructured data collected by big data systems is currently not useful for most hospitals. The news source explained that current health information systems are designed in such a way that much of the data collected is not yet shared and organized in such a way that it can be used effectively. This is fine. The issue is not that the data is not useful, it is that the process of implementing EHR infrastructure and data sharing capabilities is evolutionary, and certain parts of the system are ahead of others.

The problem is that with most of the big data collected by hospitals not being usable, the focus does not need to be on big data, it needs to be on actionable data, the report explained. This leads to many healthcare professionals panicking about the scale of big data and the problems it creates when professionals actually need to be focus on identifying the information that is actionable and can help improve operations.

BPM can help

BPM software is designed to use process automation and integration to help companies sift through the data that does not require human interaction and give employees streamlined access to the information they need to get the job done. In healthcare, the technology can be used to eliminate many menial manual tasks and position staff members to get the job done as efficiently as possible, leading to major operational gains across a hospital.