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5 Things to Consider to Leverage Patient Data Collection in Healthcare

Billy Yann
Deep learning and machine learning specialist, well-versed with experience in Cloud infrastructure, Block-chain technologies and Big Data solutions.
December 7, 2019

Patient Data Collection

Patient data collection is a vital cog in the healthcare industry. It is a very systematic process, which is an essential entity. This process involves gathering, analyzing, and interpreting different types of information from various distinct sources. In the healthcare industry, data collection can be categorized into two areas. Quantitative data include those with numbers and percentages, with their comparisons. The qualitative data deals with various types of descriptions used in the healthcare industry.

Why Patient Data Collection?

It is well-known that collecting medical data from patients helps in treating them better. It is essential for healthcare institutions (hospitals) to be aware of a patient's medical history to fully assess the issues that might crop up during a thorough medical-examination. This enables hospitals to provide the best proper care.

How Patient Data Collection is done?

In ancient times, before the invention of the computer, patient information was collected by writing down every health aspect of people. These were cataloged and kept as paper-stacks or as ledgers or binders.

After the arrival of the computer, the entire patient data collected was entered into folders in the system. This was stored here and used as and when needed. With the arrival of the internet, it became easier to collect, store, and share the data worldwide with essential precautions and confidentialities in just a few clicks.

A proper plan should be in place to ensure data collection is done well and safely. The data collected should be analyzed as well, for understanding the medical health of patients. There should be an idea about what data is collected and by whom. Also, one should be aware of when and where the required data was collected.

Patient Gathered Health Data (PGHD)

Patient Gathered Health Data includes all information gathered by patients such as entire medical history, current symptoms, biometric data and details of their lifestyle. As mentioned before, now-a-day, patients can electronically transfer this information via the internet to their doctors, or healthcare professionals. Through this system, patients have the flexibility to share the information they consider relevant.

The challenges with this system are quite a few. For instance, patients might be uncomfortable sharing their personal and medical information, electronically. This might lead them to give away very less information, which will jeopardize the care they receive from hospitals and healthcare organizations. There might be the issue of language barriers that affect fluid communication between patients and doctors.

Overall, PGHD aids in improving the interaction between doctors and patients. With the Doctor-Patient Confidentiality agreement, this information will not be shared without proper authorization from patients. This helps patients to rely on doctors and get their medical issues sorted out.

Big Data

Technology has advanced in the field of data collection and documentation as well. Big data refers to collecting and documenting a vast amount of patient data, through digitization (digitalization) technology. These data get analyzed by specific technologies. Through the digitization process, epidemics can be prevented or handled with ease.

Healthcare Data Analytics help in treating any diseases at an early stage. For instance, information might get segregated into parts with each of them available at various clinics as well as a hospital. With improper communication between healthcare institutions, patients might get stranded without getting deserving and efficient treatment. The value of big data comes to play, in these situations. Big data enables healthcare data analytics to use the information to solve a problem before it's blown out of proportion. Big data aids in keeping better track of inventory. It also involves patients to take care of themselves by empowering them with various tools to do so.

Online reporting software and business intelligence strategy, needs to be implemented in the healthcare industry for better analysis of data from different unique perspectives.

Some of the big data applications that can help efficient patient care:

✔ Analyzing big data can improve staffing in healthcare organizations, which ultimately leads to better patient care.

✔ Electronic Health Records (EHRs) can keep track of a patient's status.

✔ The process of Real-Time Alerting can help doctors to prevent major medical health issues of patients.

✔ Encouraging patients to engage in their health by analyzing big data can be beneficial to both patients and doctors.

✔ In the case of cancer, big data might be able to detect it at the initial stage, which enhances the treatment process.

5 Things to Consider to Leverage Patient Data Collection in Healthcare

As mentioned before, now-a-day, patient data can be collected and acquired via various means. The most challenging element for healthcare organizations is consolidating this vast amount of data obtained through various sources. HIPAA (Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability) policies should be looked upon, to ensure proper patient data protection.

Here are the five things that need to be considered while leveraging patient data collection in healthcare industries:



Through interoperability, one can enable communication by combining data from various information-technology sources along with software applications. The information exchanged via these sources can facilitate a streamlined operation of patient care.

For this process, data must be obtained from EHRs (Electronic Health Records) and ADT (Admission, Discharge, and Transfer). Data from DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) can be combined with those from Clinical Imaging Systems for clarity of the whole medical-picture of a patient.

Laboratory Systems (LIMS) help with the integration of data between DICOM and clinical imaging. Healthcare organizations and hospitals can gather so much information through the process of integration. This data will be useful in seeking the perfect guidance for treating their patients with great care.

Data Analytics

Proper analysis of data ensures top-notch care for a patient. For this purpose, the data should be maintained properly. The valued information aids in making strategic plans for treating a particular patient and deal with diseases and medical issues.

The vast amount of data and information regarding the patients helps in an all-round treatment process. For this purpose, integrated systems are employed or implemented for a detailed view of the patient data.

Data analytics are used by officials while converting this information into measurements, reports, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and analytical insights. The analyzed patient data is used for solving various medical issues. Data analytics can be used for personalized care by knowing more about patient health, predict medical issues. And alert doctors about the same.


It has been observed that data can be sometimes unorganized and scattered. These types of data need a good and robust infrastructure for extracting the maximum value out of it. Centrally Monitored Systems are needed to magnify the data for its proper use. It is a mandate under HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability).

Block-chain facilitates data storage within blocks such as folders, ledgers or even sophisticated cryptography. So, it helps with maintaining Centrally Administered Systems. This block-chain system clearly addresses the issue of organizing the scattered and unorganized data into several blocks or divisions for the ease of using the information.

This system of block-chain helps in safeguarding the integrity of information. Healthcare organizations and hospitals reap benefits from block-chain with regular drug supply and recruitment of patients for clinical trials. Interoperability using IoT devices is another benefit of block-chain technology.

Through the technology of block-chain, healthcare institutions and hospitals can reduce overall operational costs with proper strategic planning. This helps in optimizing the care provided by healthcare organizations and hospitals.

Identifying high-risk patients

Through the data and information of patients, doctors can identify high-risk as well as potential high-risk patients. This is done by aggregating and analyzing patient data. This data is beneficial to health insurers as well, as they have experience in using claims. With data from a pharmacy, lab, and information from patient charts, insurers can predict expected medical losses and overall financial projections. Data from socio-economic circles and other sources can be used as well for identifying any high-risk or potential high-risk patients.

With the patient data, doctors can find out the onset of any potentially lethal diseases such as cancer or HIV and AIDS. As doctors and healthcare professionals can identify these medical issues early, efficient treatment can be given at the right time. These high-risk patients are intimated through various communication techniques and also through social media. They are encouraged to take-up treatments as soon as possible.

Point-of-care Alerts

These alerts can greatly reduce the risk of treating high-risk patients. A proper strategic care-plan can be employed with the aid of these point-of-care alerts. With the proper plan in place, the high-risk, as well as potential high-risk patients, can be treated as well as cared well. Patients are then encouraged to adhere to the care-plan via physical rehabilitation therapies or any additional care techniques the patients need.

The importance of patient-data

The data provided by patients to doctors and healthcare professionals are very important as these can be analyzed and risk-assessed to take the appropriate measures to save a life. Hospitals and healthcare organizations work hand-in-hand to improve care-factor through data collection, documentation, and analysis.

Get saved by efficient doctors and healthcare professionals through the powerful data you possess.

These are the ways to leverage patient data collection in healthcare.