Health Research Institute

Needles in a haystack: Seeking knowledge with clinical informatics

Incorporating clinical informatics across a healthcare organization will be essential as the reimbursement landscape evolves to a more outcomes-based approach. Clinical informatics is a nascent, booming science that melds technology, patient care, financial reporting, and partnership.

Providers were asked what organizational barriers they face in the ability to analyze clinical data effectively.

Key Findings:

In the fall of 2011, PwC’s Health Research Institute sought to assess the state of clinical informatics across the healthcare industry and understand challenges organizations are facing. The following are the key findings from this research.

  • Informatics professionals face difficult choices in complying with new government reporting rules and developing innovative products and services. Supporting innovative organizational strategies is a top goal for the majority of clinical informatics programs, but informatics professionals are often bogged down with more administrative tasks.
  • Organizations are starting to engage with one another to expand informatics capabilities. Collaboration is critical for making progress across the healthcare value chain and could help overcome interoperability barriers.
  • Engaging and interacting with patients through informatics has shown mixed results. All sectors view patient engagement as a way to drive better financial performance, with greater patient compliance one goal of understanding patient behavior. Healthcare organizations are challenged to find the best ways to use health IT tools and informatics to get to know patients and what motivates them.
  • The new focus on informatics applies to the provider, payer, and pharmaceutical sectors, each of which has unique expectations, needs, and challenges. Healthcare organizations must be able to provide analytics at the point of service and rely on historical and longitudinal data to manage patient populations.

About the research:

30 in-depth interviews were conducted with IT, clinical, and strategy professionals involved with informatics within their healthcare organizations. This group included providers, health insurers pharmaceutical/life health insurers, pharmaceutical/life sciences companies, and patient advocacy groups. Online surveys took place of more than 400 providers, 90 health insurers, and 100 pharmaceutical and life sciences executives on their approaches, strategies, and uses for analyzing clinical data.

Published 02/2012

Daniel Garrett
Principal, National Leader Health IT
Tel: +1 (267) 330 8202
Benjamin Isgur
Health Research Institute leader
Tel: +1 (214) 754 5091