Untapped data is a missed opportunity for our health sector

2nd March 2023

Vinay Chand looks at how health organisations can better utilise their own data to save money and deliver more for patients

A smarter use of data can provide valuable insights and inform decision-making, leading to better patient outcomes and cost savings in healthcare. However, many organisations face challenges in effectively collecting, analysing, and utilising data. Issues such as lack of standardisation, privacy concerns, and limited resources can hinder the effective use of data in healthcare. Nevertheless, there is a growing trend towards using data analytics and artificial intelligence in healthcare to improve patient care and reduce costs.

Organisations across the public space sit on veritable goldmines of data, but many of them are not exploiting it to its full potential. For healthcare, this is a missed opportunity to understand the bigger picture across a wider system, and ultimately improve patient care and experience. It could also help to demonstrate the long-held view that high quality care costs less in the long term.

The Federal Government recently announced plans to invest $2.5 billion over 4 years from 2022-23 to reform the aged care system, including increased financial transparency through new financial reporting requirements. The goal is to improve the quality of care for older Australians and provide better accountability and transparency in the aged care sector. The introduction of new financial reporting requirements is an important step in achieving this goal, as it will provide more information about how aged care providers are using public funding and improve accountability for the delivery of quality care.

Civica’s costing AI engine, Aurum, easily identified systemic variation in clinical data. Using AI and the latest cloud technologies it can mine data in minutes, returning insights in a fraction of the time it would take a human analyst using traditional BI methods.

Alongside CostMaster, Aurum can play a critical role in supporting the long-term financial stability of health organisations, helping them deliver increased productivity and supporting the importance of our overall quality of care.

All in the planning

Effective use of costing data can greatly improve the planning process for finance managers. By utilising data-driven technology, such as forecasting platforms, finance managers can better understand the impact of demand, make informed decisions about resource allocation, and ensure that the organisation has sufficient capacity to deliver its plans. By bringing together data from different systems, finance managers can gain a comprehensive view of the organisation's finances and make more informed decisions that balance activity, money, and resources. This approach not only simplifies the planning process but also provides a full audit trail and improves transparency, helping to ensure that the organisation's resources are being used in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

High quality costs less

The integration of financial and quality data has been a challenge in the healthcare sector globally. However, by combining these two types of data, organisations can make more informed decisions that balance cost and quality. By linking financial data with patient experience and care quality metrics, organisations can gain a better understanding of the cost-quality relationship, identify areas for improvement, and drive greater efficiency and value. This approach can help to reduce unwarranted variations in costs, improve quality and safety, and ultimately enhance the patient experience. The integration of financial and quality data is an important step towards achieving a more holistic and data-driven approach to healthcare transformation.

By bringing both the financial and quality data together, we can help support better decision making, drive higher efficiency and value, while improving quality and safety.

Vinay Chand is the Health Managing Director APAC at Civica.