We’ve all been there. One day it’s a scratchy throat and the next it’s full-blown strep. Luckily, a round of antibiotics should solve the problem in a matter of days. But the effectiveness of antibiotics has created problems over the course of the past half century. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is well aware of the problem. However, solving this challenge is a whole other issue.
That’s where big data comes in.
Debra Goff, a clinical associate professor and infectious disease specialist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, told Fierce Healthcare, “I seldom attend a hospital meeting without the IT team present, because they hold the key to long-term success through data collection and analysis.”
To put it simply, an agency’s ability to aggregate millions of patient records, prescriptions, and health history is the key to identifying, analyzing, and addressing critical health issues, such as the effectiveness of antibiotics. Or, as in the case of the New Hampshire Electronic Cause of Death (eCOD) app, provide real-time situational surveillance on the growing opioid overdose epidemic.
There may be disagreement on health problems, priorities, or even payment. But those of us in the field can all agree that accurate collection and timely analysis of big data is critical to the future of effective health care.