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Mark Byers: VA, Health Orgs Should Leverage Big Data for Proactive Healthcare

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healthcare systemDSS President and CEO Mark Byers has called on healthcare organizations to facilitate the transformation of the field from reactive to proactive through new strategies and investments in technology to leverage medical data.

Byers wrote in a guest post published Friday on Nextgov his recommendations for organizations, particularly the Department of Veterans Affairs, to interoperable systems that streamline healthcare operations and help support clinical decision-making.

He cites applications in the areas of oncology and medical imaging to indicate the ways that analysis of big data in health services delivers efficiency, informed decisions and improved patient care.

In oncology, clinicians can use tools to manage patient records, chemotherapy treatments and medication and communicate with other involved caregivers, Byers says.

“[Sophisticated] decision-support tools can streamline chemotherapy workflow, help providers comply with industry best practices and ensure accuracy with chemotherapy doses and timing.”

He adds that these tools can also be used to guide clinical decisions on needed treatments or medical imaging tests through a combination of evidence-based and predictive health data.

“These systems have been shown to reduce inappropriate imaging orders and cost by helping providers select the most appropriate procedure, sending the order to the radiologist best suited to perform it and, finally, evaluating the findings from the radiologists.”

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