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How Data Mining Is Helping Healthcare

There is an unstoppable growth in the amount of electronic health records or EHRs being collected by healthcare facilities. It has been the norm for nurses to take responsibility in handling patient data input that was traditionally recorded in paper-based forms. Accuracy is extremely important when it comes to patient care and computerizing this massive amount of data enhances the quality of the whole system.

But how do healthcare providers sift through all the information efficiently? This is where data mining has proven to be extremely effective. Data mining has been used to uncover patterns from the large amount of stored information and then used to build predictive models. Since the early 90s, this practice has been used to help with fraud detection, credit scoring and maintenance scheduling but it’s finally being utilized in healthcare programs around the country.

Improving the quality of patient care and reducing healthcare costs are the ideal goals of many programs. Data mining has helped these programs succeed.

Benefits of Data Mining in the Healthcare Industry

While other solutions might favor healthcare providers or insurance companies, data mining benefits everyone concerned, from healthcare organizations to insurers to patients.

  • Patients receive more affordable and better healthcare services. This happens when healthcare officials use data mining programs to identify and observe high-risk patients and chronic diseases and design the right interventions needed. These programs also reduce the number of claims and hospital admissions, further streamlining the process.
  • Healthcare providers use data mining and data analysis to find best practices and the most effective treatments. These tools compare symptoms, causes, treatments and negative effects and then proceed to analyze which action will prove most effective for a group of patients. This is also a way for providers to develop the best standards of care and clinical best practices.
  • Insurers are now able to better detect medical insurance abuse and fraud because of data mining. Unusual claims patterns are easier to spot with this tool and it can identify inappropriate referrals and fraudulent medical and insurance claims. When insurers reduce their losses due to fraud, the cost of health care also decreases.
  • Healthcare facilities and groups use data mining tools to reach better patient-related decisions. Patient satisfaction is improved because data mining provides information that will help staff with patient interactions by recognizing usage patterns, current and future needs, and patient preferences.

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