Posts tagged ‘healthcare’

The McKinsey Study and the U.S. Health Care System: Now for Some Good News…

By Mary Ludloff

As I said in my recent post on the U.S. health care system, the U.S. cannot continue at its current spending rate.  Certainly, the McKinsey Study (and many other publications) makes this very clear. Now, you and I may have very different opinions on how this can be fixed depending on our political leanings, etc., but ignoring this problem is not going to make it “go away.” Lucky for us, McKinsey takes a look at how big data and analytics can alleviate health care costs in some very promising areas. Whether you share my views on health care reform or not, it’s clear that we need to figure out how to align health care policy and regulations with economic incentives designed to move the industry towards a more collaborative, data sharing approach. To me, this is the “real” health care debate!

If you are a card carrying member of the big data community but don’t know much about the state of health care data, you may be surprised at just how antiquated data collection and usage is. If you have been steeped in the health care industry (and not just in the health care reform debate), this will be old news: health care data is not systematically collected, stored, and used. It is the only trillion dollar-plus industry in the U.S. without a modern information technology infrastructure. Look at is this way: while medical technology has advanced, much of the infrastructure that supports it is paper-based.  For example, most of our medical records are stored in files (and I mean physical files) at various hospitals and doctors’ offices. Whenever you see a new doctor or go to a new clinic or hospital, chances are you fill out the same forms (again and again) documenting your medical history, risk factors, allergies, etc. (more…)

June 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm 3 comments

The McKinsey Study and the U.S. Health Care System: First, the Bad News…

By Mary Ludloff

If you are an old movie buff (I confess!), you may remember this famous line in All About Eve, starring the incomparable Bette Davis: “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!” And when it comes to any discussion about the current state of the U.S. health care system, it is safe to say that it will be a very rocky ride no matter what side of the political aisle you reside on.  Before I begin with the “bad news,” in the spirit (yet again) of full disclosure, PatternBuilders is actively working on a health care analytics solution. In fact, we have been monitoring the health care industry for quite some time and while our health care system certainly has many challenges, the potential for good—as the McKinsey Study points out—is significant from a business and “greater good” standpoint, a win-win as far as we’re concerned. So, let’s get to it.

The McKinsey Study does an excellent job of “framing” the current challenges that the U.S. is facing regarding its health care system. Put simply, we (U.S. citizens) spend more on health care than any other nation in the world and twice as much as any developed country but the money we spend is wasted:

“Americans spend twice as much as residents of other developed countries on healthcare, but get lower quality, less efficiency and have the least equitable system…” (more…)

June 21, 2011 at 7:37 am 4 comments


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