Users of clinical data analytics have limited expectations that the technology can improve patient care and lower costs, according to a study from HIMSS Analytics, the research arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society in Chicago.

The firm conducted a focus group study of chief medical officers and chief medical informatics officers from a variety of provider and payer organizations.

Both types of organizations generally analyze data retrospectively and few use the data for real-time decision-making, although many recognize that value. Both groups view clinical analytics as helping to manage risks as reimbursement structures shift from volume of care to an outcomes-based focus. Both groups also believe that meaningful use incentives will drive the need for more sophisticated clinical analytics.

Obstacles for improved use of clinical analytics, according to study participants, include data existing in multiple codes and formats and on paper, missing critical data elements, and beliefs that benefits fall short of the cost of analysis.

Anvita Health, a San Diego-based vendor of clinical data aggregation and analytics software, sponsored the HIMSS Analytics study. To access the study results, click here.

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