There’s a lot of data available to providers and healthcare administrators these days. Some might argue too much data. With so much available, how do healthcare professionals know what to look for — and what to look out for? And what data tips the scale in favor of adoption of a given solution, treatment, or pharmaceutical?
What Are Providers Looking For?
At a high level, providers are concerned with two primary considerations: cost and quality. Healthcare organizations are focusing on driving down their own costs as well as responding to patients’ growing demands for cost-effective care. Cost is obviously a concern when making treatment decisions — both the cost to the organization and the cost to patients. Providers have their own cost considerations as well — the personal cost of making recommendations that positively impact both patient outcomes and patient perceptions.
However, when it comes to Medical Affairs providing data, the question of “does it work” is primary.
Carol Clayton, PhD, a translational neuroscientist at Rellas says clinicians are looking for data that tells them how they can improve the lives of their patients. “They want to know that the work they do makes a difference in the lives of people,” she says. Evidence that supports offerings that improve quality of care can tip the scale to a “go” decision for clinicians.
Challenges Providers Face
Providers face challenges in getting at the answers to their top-of-mind questions—primarily challenges related to the ability to wade through massive amounts of data and questions about whether the data is valid and reliable.
- When was the data collected?
- How was it collected?
- Who collected it?
- Are the results replicable?
- What variations in results occur across varying populations?
Providers are busy and finding the answers to these questions takes time that few providers have but technology can help.
Balancing the Needs of Providers and Administrators
When making treatment decisions, providers and administrators often approach these decisions from different perspectives.
For administrators, Clayton says, while patient care outcomes are obviously important, their focus is also on the “health” of their organization. “They are looking for population health data that links the service line delivery and outcomes to their financial wins and losses.”
Medical Affairs must strike a balance between these two perspectives. “The best solutions are those that provide system-level performance data for agency administrators with patient-specific drill down data to clinicians so both roles can fulfill their objectives and not be burned out with ‘too much data noise’,” says Clayton.
Medical Affairs Tech Tools
Scientific studies and clinical trials have always been important to clinicians. But the sheer quantity of these studies and trials has escalated — and concerns about predatory data have emerged — providers are faced with a daunting job: sifting through the massive amounts of data available to them to determine what’s real, what’s relevant, and what matters most to them, their organizations, and their patients.
Fortunately, Medical Affairs professionals can rely on data that has been vetted as significant — and then leverage algorithms that allow them to analyze that data in ways that are meaningful to internal and external stakeholders.
Today’s technology means that providers not only can gain access to reams of reliable data, but that they can easily surface up relevant and robust insights from that data, whether those are real world studies, clinical studies or HEOR.