Though not commonly acknowledged, data quality and data integration are critically important to the health care sector. Every medium and large-sized health care organization has an enormous number of systems that are often not integrated with each other. Among other things, these systems contain patient, test, trial and billing information. The ability to collect and rationalize all of this data across all of these systems is extremely difficult, to say the least. Ultimately, health care begins to suffer because doctors and health care providers are unable to access and use this information to improve patient care.

The health care industry is a multitrillion-dollar industry. Some of the stats from the FBI and the Center for Disease Control estimate that 10 percent of U.S. medical expense is a result of fraud. Another sobering statistic from the Physicians for a National Health Program is that 31 percent of the national health care budget goes to claims processing and administration overhead. This is a huge amount of spend, especially considering that overhead has nothing to do with patient care. If we look across health care providers and the things that they’re trying to do, there are many instances where data can improve the health care systems.

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