What Healthcare Can Learn from Casinos

My background comes from managing large IT projects at a number of the top Casinos in Las Vegas and around the world. As I’ve switched over to healthcare there are a number of things that healthcare could learn from what Casinos do.

Customer Focused Big Data
First, casinos are very good at knowing their customers very well. All of this sits on the back of big data and we’re just getting started on this in healthcare. In the casino industry they’ve been working on it for years. The amount of data they crunch to be able to provide a better customer experience goes beyond anything people in healthcare are even thinking about doing.

The focus of data in casinos is about getting the right customers to come to your establishment and then making sure that once they’re there they get the best user experience possible. Think about this in healthcare terms. How many organizations are using big data to make sure that the right patients are visiting their hospitals? Not that many. How much data is being used to drive a patient visit in healthcare today?

In our current sick care (not “health” care) environment, it’s pretty rare that big data drives a visit. That’s not to say that some data isn’t involved in the sick care we provide today, but we rarely look to outside sources of data to really improve the patient experience. I believe this will change as more and more mobile health devices start gathering our health data in a really portable manner. The future of health will likely be similar to a casino where the experience will be customized for every patient. Mobile health apps will likely be the conduit for much of this data.

Security and Privacy
Another big lesson healthcare can learn from casinos revolves around security and privacy. You can imagine the number of threats casinos have on their IT infrastructure. Everyone would love to find a way to hack into a casino and access their hundreds of millions of dollars that’s flowing every day. Security and privacy are a core part of every thing that’s ever done in a casino.

Imagine a healthcare system that has security and privacy built into everything they do. In some respects this is the case in healthcare. Many of the organizations I talk to pay a lot of attention to the security and privacy of their health IT systems. However, the same can’t be said for many of the mobile health applications hitting the market today. There are exceptions, but many mHealth apps focus on functionality over privacy and security. This could be a real problem going forward. We need to shift the mobile health market so privacy and security are a core feature of everything we do.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

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