February 01 2017 | 0 Comments | 243 reads Average Rating: 3

Applause Worthy Results with Insights-as-a-Service

by Jen Cressman in Health Analytics

“They danced and danced, but didn't take a bow." With big data gaining momentum, healthcare organizations can relate, as many have been embracing data – but few have reached a point where they can truly revel in their accomplishments and take a bow.

Indeed, according to Vendor Landscape: Insights Service Providers, a report released by Forrester Research earlier this year, simply dancing with big data is no longer enough to fully transform your organization to a value-based business. Companies – including healthcare organizations – need to turn all this data into the “insights” that can positively direct action. In fact, it is only through insights that organizations can “[improve] the customer experience, [address] rising customer expectations and [enhance} their products and services.”1

The problem: Turning data into insights is not an easy task. According to the Forester report, requirements to deliver timely insights can challenge even the most experienced teams, which need to balance new demands with their day-to-day tasks of “keeping the lights on.”

To release some of the pressure, Insights-as-a-Service – action-oriented insights drawn from the analysis of data and delivered via the cloud – can help. By leveraging Insights-as-a-Service, healthcare organizations can obtain insights to solve complicated problems simply and efficiently to affect positive change. Having a 360 degree view can help them assess the potential impact and opportunity to intervene with a population, the attitudes or behaviors that will drive engagement, and/or how effectively programs will drive compliance.

For example, such insights could help to identify fraud, waste and abuse (FWA) related to drug seeking behavior. An Insights-as-a-Service solution could integrate and analyze data from multiple sources and then deliver it in a usable format, helping organizations get the actionable insights needed to implement positive changes. Consider the following: An analysis of claims data alone might prove to be somewhat helpful as organizations seek to identify drug-seeking members or patients but it could highlight outliers that are false positives – for example, cancer patients who are being treated by multiple providers and are filling prescriptions at pharmacies that are not close to where they live. By aggregating and analyzing claims, provider prescribing patterns, pharmacy location and diagnostic/clinical information, a healthcare organization could better determine true outliers as issues related to geography and prescribing/filling patterns could actually differentiate between patients who are exhibiting drug seeking behaviors vs. patients who are legitimately filling prescriptions for multiple specialists outside of their residential area.

A comprehensive analysis of multiple data sources could also provide the insight needed to address medication compliance issues. For example, when analyzing prescription claims in isolation, a healthcare organization can determine if there is a medication compliance problem among a certain patient population. But if other data sources related to utilization of healthcare services, transportation issues, income and other variables are introduced into the equation, the organization could determine why these compliance issues exist. With such insight, the organization could intervene in a meaningful way and actually move patients toward medication compliance.

These are just a couple of ways that big data coupled with Insights-as-a-Service can move the dial for your organization. With comprehensive data analysis that reveals opportunities, organizations can take the actions that bring meaningful results. Can you think of any other ways that such insights can help?


1. Bellssent, J. Vendor Landscape: Insights Service Providers. Forrester Research, May 12, 2016.

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Jen Cressman
Vice President, Professional Services

Jen Cressman is a healthcare executive with nearly two decades of experience in the health care and wellness space having worked with health plans, integrated delivery networks, employers, exchanges and ACOs. Jen’s background includes work in the Medicare, Medicaid and commercial consumer segments, data-driven decision support and population health solutions.

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