Recently, New Signature has been asked to speak at a regional conference focusing on Predictive Analytics: Success in Healthcare. When I mentioned this topic to friends and colleagues, beyond the initial curious look, the first question I’m invariably asked is, “What is that?” Generally, I answer their question with a question, “How long does it take you to drive to work?” I often hear responses “about twenty to thirty minutes, sometimes an hour, it really depends.” I further ask what their drive times depend upon and they will say things such as, “When I leave the house, is it raining, is it a holiday and is school in session.” With answers such as these, I comment that they use predictive analytics on a daily basis. Simply put, potential future outcomes are based upon knowledge gained from past events.
They will continue to nod and say, “Okay, that makes sense but I don’t understand the “success” part. Where does that play? Are you right one hundred percent of the time?” Smiling, I will say “No, it’s never that certain. However, if you hear on the weather forecast there’s an 85% chance of rain, would you take an umbrella that day — if it rains, you are prepared and successful.”
Okay, now, where does “success in Healthcare” play into predictive analytics? Healthcare is uniquely suited towards the use of predictive analytics. There is no other profession that is so distinctly qualified to enhance success than Healthcare. Successful outcomes in Healthcare are the primary goal of anyone that enters a hospital emergency room, sees their primary care physician, or is involved in any type of medical treatment. However, it goes a little bit deeper than that. A successful outcome is dependent upon many different variables. Such as, what type of treatment is needed, where and what condition is being treated? Another factor is the mindset of the individual needing treatment; is their belief that they’re going to get better one of the factors that have led up to this moment of going to see a medical professional. Additionally, each person’s belief of what “success” means varies and is important to understand. For example, throughout various stages of life, people have an evolving view on what success means, at a point in time. In your twenties, it might mean furnishing your apartment; your thirties, possibly buying your first home and starting a family equals success. Successful outcomes in the medical area are also dependent upon age of the patient presenting.
Determining factors in a successful outcome are dependent upon collecting data from a person’s past treatment experience, questionnaires they completed at the time of the hospital visit and follow-ups to ensure patient satisfaction. The purpose of predictive analytics towards ensuring successful patient outcomes in a real-time environment leverages all collected information into a statistical model and gauges the most optimal treatment path from inception to completion.