Data In Healthcare

Lauren Higgins

Our world is increasingly run by data and the healthcare world is no exception. As we are able to collect more information on individual patients, prescribed treatments, and outcomes, we gain the pieces of the puzzle we need to improve health systems and outcomes. Although we can have all this data collected, it is meaningless unless it can be put to use.


Analytics and statistical analysis of health information data is a growing field. As the US and international healthcare systems move towards a focus on public health, gaining a macro understanding of health trends will be key. Various health information technology companies are already starting this wave, and it can be expected to continue in the upcoming years. Companies such as Cognosante are utilizing publicly available data to demonstrate potential cases of fraud, waste, and abuse in the healthcare system to ensure efficient and quality care for all people. Electronic Medical Record Companies are applying data analysis to track trends in both individual health and population health, to identify potential concerns as early as possible. Implementing technologies that use the various metrics collected on a patient, data analysts can point providers to look for a problem earlier than ever before.


Data in healthcare can also come from the financial side. By getting a clear picture of patterns in billing and costs, data analysts can identify financially inefficient processes or, oppositely, areas that are potentially financially fruitful. Understanding the trends in the healthcare sector’s financial health on both a macro and micro level is incredibly important as the field becomes increasingly complex.


Individuals of all majors and backgrounds can be successful in a health analytics career. Having a strong understanding of data analysis and programs is a plus, but an ability to see and make sense of large scale trends is also key. Beyond coursework that lends itself to this career path, there are a variety of ways you can improve your skills in these areas such as in clubs, online courses or programs, or outside experiences.