Unleashing the Potential: Overcoming Healthcare Data Challenges for Optimal Value Realization

July 13, 2023

Gaurav B Suri

The healthcare industry continues to evolve, with numerous initiatives striving to adapt to the changing landscape. Over the years, we’ve witnessed significant advancements, such as the implementation of Obamacare in the 2000s, which focused on value-based care and the patient-provider value chain inspired by Porter’s framework (1). Additionally, robust health data platforms, such as Data Lakes and Data Hubs, and digital modernization efforts have emerged to help address the industry’s challenges by managing more complex data types with the goal of increasing our understanding of patients and their overall treatment pathways. Despite these commendable efforts, the healthcare sector still struggles to deliver prompt value to the stakeholders who matter the most: providers and patients.

A systematic review conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (2)shed light on the prevailing challenges and opportunities faced by healthcare organizations. These challenges varied across the healthcare industry and respondents mentioned issues related to data structure (61%), security (50%), data standardization & interoperability (39%), storage and transfers (28%), managerial governance (14%), skills gap, inaccuracies, regulatory compliance, and real-time analytics. As we evaluated these challenges against present-day, we identified many of them that have persisted in today’s healthcare world.

Additionally, within the challenges that were identified the research saw significant opportunities for value realization among healthcare stakeholders. More than 64% of the articles analyzed in the study focused on quality improvement through predictive analytics using primary or historical data. While this has been enhanced with greater access to third-party data, most organizations still struggle with the organization and management of information to improve quality. Furthermore, 60% of the articles analyzed focused on managing population health and detecting diseases early by focusing on specialized populations and leveraging finer levels of granularity within their patient populations. We’ve seen this is particularly relevant on a global or regional scale, considering aging populations, age-related health issues, metabolic or co-morbid conditions, and their impact on various populations and sub-populations.

By capitalizing on even a fraction of these opportunities, significant advancements can be made in patient outcomes, provider decision-making, and addressing macro-level healthcare value issues such as cost, quality, and access. To accelerate the realization of these opportunities and maximize future investments, leveraging existing foundational data capabilities has become crucial. Although different organizations may vary in the maturity of their data capabilities, establishing a Data Strategy that promotes adoption and enables a seamless consumer experience can bridge the gap between data producers and consumer needs. We’ve seen the development of Data Products, governed and managed with personalized opportunities in mind, play a significant role in this process.

By overcoming challenges and embracing the potential of healthcare data, the industry can unlock unprecedented value. These endeavors address critical healthcare issues and pave the way for a future where cost-effective, high-quality, and accessible healthcare becomes a reality for all.

In future blog posts, we will delve into specific challenges and explore the value of Data Products in enabling advanced analytics and the future of artificial intelligence.


(1) Redefining Healthcare by Michael E. Porter and Elizabeth Olmsted Teisberg

(2) Challenges and Opportunities of Big Data in Health Care: A Systematic Review; Monitoring Editor: Gunther Eysenbach