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For these patients, look beyond big data

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Big data has its limits in predicting how patients with chronic conditions will need and use healthcare, says this HealthAffairs blog post. The authors say more focus should be put on understanding patient-reported information.

They conclude:

“By asking patients about their ability to manage chronic disease, we stand a better chance of identifying which patients are most in need of additional services. Patient-reported outcome measure instruments have been costly to administer, but this will be less of an issue as we transition to electronic health records and more routinely capture patient-reported measures in daily practice. Going forward, we need to determine how patient-reported data can best contribute to prediction tools and to design and validate instruments that can reliably connect patient data to actionable outcomes.

“Provider intuition and patient self-knowledge are valuable additions to the data bytes collected from medical claims and clinical information systems. Today, capturing and applying this information is largely an art. Going forward, analytics will need to adapt so that this valuable but nuanced information can more readily and effectively blend with clinical and financial data, allowing provider organizations to better care for the highest risk patients.”

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