5 Healthcare Data Options and How to Use Them

5 Healthcare Data Options and How to Use Them

Today’s healthcare providers have more data available than ever before. Many organizations want to use the data to help make important decisions, but navigating the various data options can be overwhelming. 

At Buxton, we work with a lot of data in the process of developing our analytical tools for healthcare providers. Here’s a breakdown of the primary types of data that are used in analysis.

  1. Healthcare Demand Data: Many seeking this healthcare demand data for the first time look for raw claims data. Raw claims data isn’t very helpful because it must be aggregated, synthesized, and filtered to discover meaningful insights. The better alternative is “use rate” data, which quantifies demand for a given healthcare service in a specific geography, typically a ZIP code. Use rate data is available as current year and five year forecasts for each diagnosis-related group (DRG). It is the best type of demand data for analytical modeling.

  2. Healthcare Supply Data: To understand whether demand for a healthcare service is being met, it’s helpful to look at the “supply” of providers in the market. Healthcare supply (provider) databases allow you to see the locations of healthcare providers by specialty so you can better understand the competitive landscape in a market. 

  3. Insurance Payer Data: Given the important role that insurance coverage plays in the healthcare industry, many organizations integrate insurance payer data into their analyses. This data describes the payer mix of the population living in each ZIP code in the U.S. It is based on a combination of actual data and modeled data that indicates the insurance payer type that each household most likely utilizes (private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid or uninsured). Insurance payer data is available in current year and 5 year forecasts.

  4. Your Data: Many organizations forget about the power of their own data, but collecting and cleansing your internal data is an important step in many types of analysis. Depending on the solution that Buxton provides a healthcare, we may ask the client to provide things like patient data, which includes address and visit history, and location characteristic data, such as the size of the facility and overall performance metrics.

  5. Consumer Data: Third-party consumer data brings your internal patient data to life so you can really begin to understand who your patients are. Demographic data is a good first step, but to truly understand who is visiting your facilities it’s important to use psychographic data. Psychographic data uses actual and modeled data to identify the likely lifestyles of individual consumers. It allows you to communicate with your patients more effectively and to identify pockets of potential future patients.

Ultimately, simply having data isn’t what matters; it’s applying the data that matters most. Giant spreadsheets of data aren’t very helpful, which is why many organizations are turning to analytics to understand the data and identify meaningful insights.

Learn more about how Buxton can provide you with powerful analytical insights based on high-quality datasets from industry leaders such as Truven, IMS, HDS, SK&A and others.