Data is Easy, Improving Clinical Practices is Hard

Healthcare has seen a deluge of data. Most prominently is the terabytes of data that’s being captured in the EHR. However, that’s just the beginning. Much of the operational data is stored in a health system’s ERP. Many have lab and pharmacy systems that store a lot of data that’s not available in the EHR outside of some HL7 interfaces that share basic data. Patients are increasingly bringing in virtual stacks of data from consumer health devices. Healthcare data has become easy to come by. Taking that data and using it to improve clinical practices is the hard part.

Most people agree that the future of healthcare is data-driven, evidence-based medicine. However, far too many think that this is some mystical future goal that we hope to one day achieve. While there are certainly more areas of data-driven evidence-based medicine to come, there is a lot a hospital or health system can do today to use data to drive improved clinical results.

One example of this is the work that Curtis Dudley, Vice President of Information Services at Mercy, and his team are doing. Using a cloud-based analytics solution and data from its Epic EHR system, they are benchmarking the best practices across all of their acute care and specialty hospitals. These benchmarks help them discover best practices that can be shared with the organization and help them know what areas of their organization need extra help to improve the clinical care being provided.

One of the other results of this work is Mercy was able to uncover cost savings and even create new revenue streams for their organization. These results along with their improved clinical practices are why it’s been so important for Mercy to invest in an analytics strategy that includes things like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and predictive learning. Plus, with all of this built on the cloud, they now have an easily scaled solution that can incorporate multiple streams of data from within and outside the organization.

If you want to learn more about the details of what Mercy is doing, join us at the HIMSS 2019 Annual Conference in Orlando, FL. Curtis Dudley, Vice President of Enterprise Analytics and his colleague, Todd M. Craig, MD, FAAFP, Vice President of Clinical Informatics will join Walt Ellenberger, Senior Director Business Development at SAP Healthcare Transformation and Innovation, and myself to have an open discussion about how data can be used to improve clinical practice.

You can join us at this meetup on Wednesday, February 13th from 1:30-2:30 PM ET at the SAP Booth #2332. Bring your best questions and we’ll do our best to incorporate the audience in the discussion as well. We can’t wait to see you at this meetup focused on real-world examples of data being used to improve healthcare.

If you can’t make the #HIMSS19 meetup, you can schedule a one-on-one meeting with SAP at booth #2332 to learn how you can harness high tech to achieve healthier outcomes and unlock the value of your data.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, 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,, 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.