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The uses of ‘temporal data’


David Goldsteen, M.D.,  CEO of VigiLanz, an “intelligence-solutions” provider, warns hospital administrators  to beware of over-relying on big data that don’t let them pinpoint problem sources or develop facility-specific solutions.

He touts “temporal analytics”  — breaking down big data into real-time clusters — to tell administrators what’s happening at the point of care, He says hospital administrators might find situation-based temporal analytics better at identifying day-to-day problem points than big data.

Among the ways to look at temporal analytics:

1. Drawing an institution-specific profile.  “As clinicians take tests like blood cultures, [temporal analytic platforms] can collect the time stamps regarding when those actions occurred,” Bart Abban, Ph.D., director of analytics and data science at VigiLanz, says. “Based on that, you can really paint a profile of what is happening to the patient from time to time, sequence to sequence.”

2. Create actionable solutions. Temporal analytics is different “from a big data approach, because big data — while occasionally coming up with some useful little insights — really isn’t what you need to operate your institutions,” Dr. Goldsteen told Becker’s.

Becker’s, summarizing his remarks, says: “By deploying a platform to track and time stamp specific clinical issues like antimicrobial, pharmacy and infection problems, a hospital can identify endemic patterns and inform staff in real-time when issues occur. Problems like prescribing the wrong antimicrobial to treat pneumonia can then be faced at the point of care.”

3. “Allocate resources to garner the highest outcomes. Determining the variability in clinical response can have significant consequences on outcomes in value-based care, Dr. Abban says. ‘Once you minimize the variability, you can begin to quantify how much effort [you] take to move responses’ toward the most effective solution, he says. When pushing toward a new outcome, temporal analytics allows hospitals to analyze if ‘the marginal outcomes or the marginal returns are greater than the marginal cost put in,’ Dr. Abban says.”

4. “Use hospital culture to convert data into action. Raw data will only foster action if a hospital’s culture enables staff to use the information, Dr. Goldsteen says. Problem hospitals may be able to get as far as identifying their specific problems, but even this is ineffective if the hospital’s staff is not on board with using the data to pursue better outcomes. ‘As you’re fed real time information and you support a cultural shift in your organization, you’re going to be asking your frontline providers to act upon that data,’ Dr. Goldsteen says. ”

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