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When speaking about new reimbursement models where quality is rewarded, it is essential to have the capability to monitor, measure and act upon clinical data. Most healthcare organisations monitor productivity data today, and to change that capability into a more complex situation can be a challenging task. Healthcare executives must initially decide the big questions:

What is quality? What is it to the patient, and what key performance indicators (KPIs) represent that quality? Essentially it is more of a clinical than a technical discussion. Once that is set, the hospital CIO must look at how to monitor progress and quality — preferably in real time.

Big Data analytics (BDA) capabilities are therefore a key component in a value based healthcare model. When we look at IDC survey data, the current adoption of BDA solutions is homogenous in Western Europe, with “reporting on quality of care” the number 1 implemented use case (IDC European Vertical Markets Survey).

The rich and broad healthcare datasets are now leveraged through BDA applications to improve efficiency in operations and to predict patients’ progress. We are on our way, but Western Europe still lacks enterprisewide adoption of these analytical and clinical reimbursement models.

When BDA is used in a quality-driven healthcare organisation, the following indicators are primarily used:

  • Mortality (in hospital and after hospitalisation)
  • Availability (waiting times, etc.)
  • Public health (e.g., proportion of physically active and proportion of children and adolescents, screened for obesity)
  • Readmittance and reoperations
  • Unnecessary hospitalisation and hospital activity (including the extent of emergency procedures)
  • Process quality (e.g., time from meeting in emergency reception to initiated investigation)
  • Infection rates (and other forms of patient safety)
  • Professional/clinical standards (the ability to follow and comply with best practices and evidence)
  • Death rates

For healthcare executives that want to move to a quality agenda, BDA is a prime technology to consider. Besides technical capabilities, data integration and aggregation, there are also some organisational and clinical implications that need to be addressed. If it were easy we would already have done it.

Advice for Healthcare Executives

  • Build a cross-functional team with representatives from the clinical, financial, quality and IT organisation.
  • Explore and decide what value is for your healthcare organisation — include patients and their perspectives.
  • Develop quality-driven KPIs.
  • Engage with IT and financial services at your healthcare organisation to develop and implement IT to start monitoring the quality KPIs.


For more information, contact Charlotte Poulsen, VP, IDC Nordic, at cpoulsen@idc.com