Big Data has arrived at Seton Healthcare Family. According to an article published in Forbes Magazine, Seton Healthcare is the first hospital system to adopt and use content analytics technology similar to that found on IBM’s Watson technology which trounced its human competition on the TV game show Jeopardy.
Called IBM Content and Predictive Analytics for Healthcare, the new software is aimed at helping health care providers and payers improve patient care and reduce costs. Watson’ technology has the ability to understand the meaning and context of human language, and rapidly process information to find precise answers to complex questions.
The analytics of this system will help deal with the complexity of more than two million patient contacts a year, usually attended by dozens of existing patient record pages and generating more with each visit — some electronic, many notes in physician’s infamous handwriting, some transcribed from dictation and others jotted down on X-rays.
IBM’s software will allow Seton and other healthcare organizations to extract relevant clinical information from vast amounts of patient data to better analyze the past, understand the present, and predict future outcomes.
By combining IBM’s Watson technology with industry solutions offerings, Seton intends to focus the new content and predictive analytics solution on the root causes of hospital readmissions, and ways it can decrease preventable multiple hospital visits.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, one in five patients suffer from preventable readmissions, which represents $17.4 billion of the current $102.6 billion Medicare budget. Beginning in 2012, hospitals will be penalized for high readmission rates with reductions in Medicare discharge payments.
“IBM Content and Predictive Analytics for Healthcare uses the same type of natural language processing as IBM Watson, enabling us to leverage our unstructured information in new ways not possible before,” said Chales Barnett, former CEO of Seton and current senior vice president of the southern division for the Daughters of Charity National Health System. “With this solution, we can access an integrated view of relevant clinical and operational information to drive more informed decision making. For example, by predicting readmission candidates, we can reduce costly and preventable readmissions, decrease mortality rates, and ultimately improve the quality of life for our patients.”
Most healthcare organizations are drowning in data but are challenged to gain reliable, actionable insights from this information. More than 80 percent of an institution’s data today is unstructured. In healthcare, this is in the form of physician notes, registration forms, discharge summaries, documents and more is doubling every five years.
Different from machine- ready data, this content lacks structure and is arduous for healthcare enterprises to include in business analysis and therefore is routinely left out. As a result, millions of patient notes and records often sit unavailable in separate clinical data silos. This content contains valuable information, but there’s historically been no easy way to analyze it.
IBM Content and Predictive Analytics for Healthcare enables Seton’s doctors and healthcare professionals to go far beyond traditional search and analysis of unstructured data. They can advance diagnosis and treatment by accurately extracting medical facts and understanding relationships buried in large volumes of clinical and operational data.
This solution transforms raw information into healthcare insight quickly by revealing trends, patterns, deviations and predicting the probability of outcomes, allowing organizations to derive insight in minutes versus weeks or months, or not at all. As a result, healthcare professionals can find more effective ways to care for high-risk patients, provide safer patient care, and develop new models for reimbursement for quality care.
Clinical and other knowledge-based workers, along with executives, will have several ways to interact with analyzed information that includes; searching, exploring, mining, monitoring and reporting. This new technology based on IBM’s Watson technology will deliver results that meet the rigorous standards and requirements of the healthcare community.