While mountains of raw health care data continue to grow, the challenge of turning that data into usable, actionable information is largely being unmet. There are certainly tremendous new opportunities to use information to improve health care decisions at the purchaser, plan, provider, and patient levels and thereby improve outcomes and lower costs. However, the world of big data in health care has just begun. Paradigms for governing, managing, analyzing, interpreting, visualizing, and communicating this wealth of health data are in development, with advances every day.  But more is needed.

Fortunately, a new book, Big Data and Health Analytics, provides a thoughtful, accessibly-written framework for realizing the potential offered by today’s abundance of health care data. Rich in examples and case studies, the book outlines current academic and industry research while providing a practical, visionary overview of approaches to using data to bring fresh value to every health care discipline. Written for health industry executives, health care professionals, and government program managers, Data and Health Analytics is recommended reading for decision makers and analysts, particularly those in hospitals and health systems, clinical practices, health insurers, accountable care organizations, medical homes, Medicare, Medicaid, public health, pharma and biotechnology firms, health information technology (HIT) companies, and medical device and diagnostics firms.

Data, Analytics, and Decision Making in Health Care

Big Data and Health Analytics contains 15 chapters, grouped into three sections that approach the topic in logical sequence. Each section reinforces opportunities for improving health care delivery through data analysis. The chapters are authored by an eminent selection of health information specialists, health services researchers, and skilled analysts from a range of public and private institutions. In keeping with its connection to the digital information universe, the book also includes numerous links to websites, articles, videos, and other relevant online content that readers will find quite helpful:

  1. Sources and Uses of Health Data: Section 1 contains seven chapters exploring the sources and uses of health data. Discussions in this section begin with the challenge of locating, aggregating and interpreting information. Vast amounts of unstructured disparate data sets exist in every conceivable form, and one of the first steps needed is to standardize data definitions. Writers share their experiences in collecting and using health information productively, both in the U.S. and in the developing world.
  2. Business and Clinical Practices in Health Data: Section 2 is a multi-part discussion of the business practices surrounding big data, and the staffing and policies needed to properly house it. The emerging science of data governance entails complex layers of risk and accountability, while metrics for evaluating security are only in formative stages. This section also includes an exploration of the potential impact data gathering may have on patient care, and ends with a discussion of the new fields of nurse and physician informaticists.
  3. Using Health Data to Inform Decision Making: Section 3 explores the art of communicating patterns and presenting analyses. Case studies in which analytics have directly influenced decision-making are outlined, and creative approaches to visual information sharing are demonstrated. Finally, this section of the book raises important questions for the future, including what constitutes an efficient health care delivery system, and how such systems can be recognized.

Specific articles and their expert authors include:

  • Little Big Data: Mastering Existing Information as a Foundation for Big Data. By Donald A. Donahue, Jr.
  • Managing Unstructured Data in a Health Care Setting. By David E. Parkhill.
  • Experiences with Linking Data Systems for Analyzing Large Data. By Dilhari DeAlmeida, Suzanne Paone, and John Kellum.
  • The Ecosystem of Federal Big Data and Its Use in Health Care. By Ryan H. Sandefer and David T. Marc.
  • Big Data from the Push of Clinical Information: Harvesting User Feedback for Continuing Education. By Roland Grad, Pierre Pluye, Michael Shulha, David L. Tang, Jonathan Moscovici, Carol Repchinsky, and Jamie Meuser.
  • Addressing Social Determinants of Health Using Big Data. By Gregory D. Stevens.
  • An International Perspective: Institutionalizing Quality Improvement through Data Utilization at a Multicountry, Multiclinic Level. By Martine Etienne-Mesubi, Peter Memiah, Ruth Atukunda, Constance Shumba, Francesca Odhiambo, Mercy Niyang, Barbara Bastien, Patience Komba, Eva Karorero, Mwansa Mulenga, Lanette Burrows, and Kristen Stafford.
  • Big Data: Architecture and Its Enablement. By Bruce Johnson.
  • Health Data Governance: Balancing Best Practices for Data Governance and Management with User Needs. By Linda Dimitropoulos and Charles (Chuck) Thompson.
  • Roadblocks, Regulation, and Red Tape: How American Health Policy and Industry Norms Threaten the Big Data Revolution. By Matthew Dobra, Dorothy Weinstein, and Christopher Broyles.
  • Education and Training of Health Informaticists. By Lynda R. Hardy.
  • Interactive Visualization. By Catherine Plaisant, Megan Monroe, Tamra Meyer, and Ben Shneiderman.
  • Driving Successful Population Health Management and Achieving Triple Aim with Clinical Analytics. By Kim S. Jayhan.
  • Improving Decision-Making Using Health Data Analytics. By Margrét V. Bjarnadóttir, Ritu Agarwal, Kenyon Crowley, QianRan Jin, Sean Barnes, and Kislaya Prasad.
  • Measuring e-Health Impact: An e-Health Evaluation Framework that Leverages Process Control Theory and Big Data Analytics. By Derek Ritz.

Insights from Multiple Health Care Disciplines

Using accessible, non-technical language, Big Data and Health Analytics offers insights into an information future that is already central to every discipline across the health care field. Using straightforward case studies and innovative data visualizations, this text lays down the groundwork for shaping effective health care in the information-based future.

“This volume targets crucial members of the teams who will be needed to unlock the potential of big data: health care and medical professionals, scientists, and their students.”
Karen Bandeen-Roche, PhD, Core Faculty at Johns Hopkins University’s Center on Aging and Health

About the Editors

Big Data and Health Analytics is edited by:

Where to Get the Book

Big Data and Health Analytics is published by CRP Press and available directly from the publisher or from booksellers, including here on Amazon.com.