UNCHC gains medical insights from big data analytics



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UNC Health Care (UNCHC) is using big data analytics to improve patient care and manage information better. Eighty percent of the institution’s data is unstructured, including such medical information as physician notes, registration forms, discharge summaries, phone calls and more.

To analyze that medical data more effectively, UNC Health Care has chosen IBM’s Smarter Care solution, with the ultimate goal of reducing readmissions, decreasing mortality rates and improving the quality of life for patients. With the solution, UNCHC clinicians can quickly access and analyze critical patient information using natural language processing. The institution also can identify high-risk patients, understand in context what is causing them to be hospitalized and take preventative steps, IBM reports.

Dr. Carlton Moore, associate professor of medicine at UNCHC, says, “IBM Content Analytics allows us to quickly transform raw information into healthcare insights. It can reveal trends, patterns and deviations while predicting the probability of outcomes so that we can make decisions in minutes versus weeks or months.”

Previously, UNCHC used IBM Content Analytics to mine clinical data to improve the accuracy of its 2012 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) measures, achieving quality improvements in the areas of mammogram, cancer and pneumonia screening, according to IBM.

UNC Health Care is focusing the new IBM solution on three additional areas:

  • timely follow-up of abnormal cancer screening results,
  • reducing costly 30-day readmissions (preventable readmissions impact one in five U.S. patients), and
  • engaging more patents (transforming clinical data into a simpler format so that patients can under their health information better).

(Image courtesy of ShutterStock)


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