I will show you my data if you show me yours
When making decisions about effective content strategies I notice that many stakeholders are leaving "data" on the table. I certainly understand that nothing about BIG data and all of its promises sounds easy or accessible. In my work as an insight analyst I have found a lot of relevant types of data that can help funnel the "noise" and help you avoid low-value data. In this digital age there isn't any value in pulling data out of published reports to identify knowledge gaps or to direct content needs. Here are a few insights below with the caveat that I am working on a more "hands on" guide to level set any organizations that are committed to leveraging available data to inform communication strategies, funding opportunities, or medical education content. But first, we have to sharpen our axe...
McKinsey and Company compiled a report that identified the 4 main sources of healthcare data.
Utilization rates and unit cost data
These figures represent the amount of care supplied by healthcare systems or providers and the cost per member per month-pmpm (or per year) reflecting the cost of the care dispensed. Often I am asked to analyze 3rd party insurance data and initially I was surprised at how the findings weren't at all what I expected. Where were all of the costs for cardiovascular disease and cancer care? The number 1 cost pmpm in many of the systems that I reviewed were orthopedic and musculoskeletal disorders.
Patient medical records especially in EHR/EMR systems are a valuable source of compliance and outcomes data for practices able to leverage the metrics and optimize their integration. National Association of Healthcare Organizations or NAHO is a good place to start looking for sources of patient level data that are often accessible.
Pharmaceutical R&D data
Clinicaltrials.gov and many proprietary registries and pharmaceutical company partnerships yield large databases available for a fee. The ability to view clinical trial data and interim data findings can be informative and direct pipeline decisions and updates.
Patient behavior data
Think business units by CVS and other drugstore chains that leverage data from over-the-counter drug sales combined with the latest “wearables” technology that is only just developing but hints at a large market with Apple entering the tech space.
Now, make me care...
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In a world of "evidence-based" medicine I am a bigger fan of practice-based evidence.
Remember the quote by Upton Sinclair...
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”