Big Data Applications in Healthcare Administration

Big Data Applications in Healthcare Administration

Joseph E. Kasten (Pennsylvania State University, York, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/IJBDAH.2020070102

Abstract

The healthcare industry has a growing record of using big data-related technologies such as data analytics, internet of things, and machine learning, especially in the clinical areas. However, healthcare institutions must also perform all of the administrative processes just as any other organization. Thus, like many other industries, healthcare has begun to apply these same technologies to improve their understanding of these internal operations and use them to make better decisions and run a more effective operation. This study takes a structured literature review approach to describe the current state of this literature and identify the major themes and priorities of both the research community and the healthcare industry as a whole. The contribution made by this study is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the state of the literature to use as a foundation for the future research opportunities noted in the paper.
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Background

When most people encounter the healthcare industry, they see mostly the clinical side of the process (except when it comes time to pay the bill). Many do not consider that healthcare is an industry and even if the facility they are using for provision of healthcare services is a non-profit organization, the business side of the healthcare equation is a crucial part of the overall system. Hospitals depend on well-trained and experienced personnel to perform their essential services, thus human resources is a critical activity. Even if they do not have shareholders to answer to, though many healthcare systems in the US are publicly traded companies, they still must monitor costs and revenues just as any other organization and therefore the financial processes of the organization is just as important as for any Fortune 500 firm. Issues of workflow streamlining, document management, and technology selection and implementation have very important roles in healthcare just as they do in any other organization.

Healthcare as a Business

Healthcare organizations face many of the same challenges as other firms. Cost reduction is a constant process. Large healthcare bureaucracies are inherently expensive to run, and with the high level of expertise in the clinical side of the organization and very expensive equipment to purchase and operate, cost reduction processes often take center stage. This is vitally important not just for the success of the enterprise, but for the healthcare system writ large. Workflow analysis allows the reduction of delays for patients to receive care and also reduce the overall complexity of the organization (Wolf, Herrmann & Rothermel, 2013). Increasing accuracy is a fundamental objective of healthcare administration as it is closely related to not just patient outcomes, but also the areas of cost reduction, asset utilization, and continuous process improvement (Cutler, Wikler & Basch, 2012).

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