Health care is one of the most important services that governments can deliver – yet it is also one of the most troubled services in Canada. The country has been facing a shortage of doctors and nurses for years, and with it longer ER wait times, a lack of beds in hospitals, and declining services for the most vulnerable members of the population.
For the most part, people don’t seem to be receiving the level of care they expect or need, though the health care system is doing what it can with the resources available to it. But it’s healthy people who contribute the most to the communities in which they live – so doesn’t it make sense for governments to look for new ways to invest in the health and wellness of their citizens?
To be most effective, and to provide the high-quality care that citizens are looking for, governments and the health care industry must take advantage of new technologies.
Data is one huge driver of change. By collecting information about individuals and whole populations, health care can be revolutionized to simultaneously provide individualized care and drive down the cost of delivery.
To accomplish this, governments and the health care industry must work together. This, of course, is no easy task. Governments must connect citizens with programs geared toward their specific needs and nurture relationships across the health care ecosystem. These goals require action items of their own, such as increasing the productivity of case workers, sharing information across agencies, and determining patient elibility for programs in a more efficient manner.
By using data to incorporate evidence-based diagnostic and treatment plans into patient care delivery, hospitals could reduce, for example, the incidence of patient readmission. The health care system could thereby find itself relieved of some of the cost pressures and inefficiency that it has until now faced.
For more information on big data and analytics, visit our digital library, where we have a number of whitepapers available for download.