In an age where the importance of data, statistics and predictive modeling win big games for baseball teams and make fat money for high-frequency traders, we are at the dawn of a new age of transparency in healthcare. It behooves every actor, in every sector, to use this new perspective to constructively illuminate best practices and redesign their infrastructure. The imperative is true operational, clinical and logistic efficiencies, honoring the value of people and institutions, all in the spirit of getting the patient the best outcome. It’s the patient, stupid. Propublica, in a seminal article, Making the Cut, via data, shows us the power of transparency in complications rates during surgery.
Every modern industry uses ‘big data’ to understand the dynamics of their market landscape. This in turn, enables them to make decisions and develop strategies for gaining market share and building their brands. Fortress medicine has just received a shot over the bow regarding the power of this new data perspective. The entire field of medicine needs to craft visionary, courageous and mindful strategies that mandate the inclusion of the bright light of outcomes (data) into their private practices, clinics and large institutions.
Meanwhile, patients are already clamoring for the lubrication of data; currently it just doesn’t flow — it lives in the Electronic Medical Record, an industry-centric database which is really a ‘wait-a-base’.
Physicians and their patients, since the dawn of medicine, have existed in a world without clarity around outcomes and complication rates — historically, there has been no meaningful way to collect and analyze it. No news was, in a perverse way, good news. Now the outcomes data feedback loop is in effect; forcing the house of medicine to take a data perspective on its future.