Health data analysts are making a huge difference in improving modern treatments. From the reduction of healthcare costs to the smooth running of a medical process, including the development and discovery of new drugs, they are involved.
Let’s take a look at what a healthcare data analyst has to offer.
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What Does a Health Data Analyst Do?
Health data analysts help improve an organization’s system through the collection and interpretation of data using electronic health records, patient satisfaction surveys, cost reports and reimbursement requests.
They are also referred to as health business analysts or health information management (HIM) analysts.
How an organization improves the quality of care, the cost of care and improving the patient experience depends on the data collected by an analyst. They are essential to the development of a business because they provide data and information on where and what an organization needs to focus on.
What is the role of data analytics in healthcare?
Data analytics in healthcare is all about process learning and analysis of historical and current trends and data to further improve a business. This business area covers all angles, from macro level to micro level. Overall, it contributes to the improvement of healthcare through the data researched and analyzed.
In addition to this, data analysis is essential for healthcare to reduce treatment costs, predict epidemics, prevent disease and improve the quality of care for patients.
Here are some practical examples of using data analytics in healthcare:
1. Predict epidemics
The power of data analysis helps doctors and hospitals prepare for epidemics by predicting trends in the spread of disease.
A harvard report revealed how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has collected data on influenza cases over the past decade and how doctors prepare and adapt for it every year, especially during the season of influenza.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, data analysis is helping predict which cases hospitals and governments need to prepare.
2. Detect anomalies
Data analysis can detect anomalies in analyzes using machine learning algorithms.
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2018, created data reading technologies capable of reading MRIs and other 3D images. The data collected saves time and provides accurate readings.
However, relying too much on machine algorithms is worrying for some scientists. Quoting that there still has to be some human contact when it comes to processing this data. This is where analysts come in.
“Without human thought and guidance throughout the process, none of these seemingly fantastic machine learning applications would be possible,” said Dustin Tingley, professor at Harvard.
3. Data for practitioner assessment
The data collected to assess practitioners is used for data analysis. This improves the process of an organization and improves the development of professionals through the feedback collected.
This example was proven in a study led by Dr Helen Reiss. She let patients rate doctors on their empathy during exams as a controlled test. Half of the doctors received empathy training after the initial test. Those who were trained received a higher rating for empathy in the second round of assessment, proving how training could increase a physician’s empathy. The absence of this trait relates to fewer malpractice claims and improvements in patient safety.
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How to become a health data analyst? What are the best skills needed to be one?
Data analysis is crucial in the health field, and knowing these traits and knowledge on how to become one is important, especially for those interested in this profession.
1. Data analysis
The most important skill is having the ability to read, analyze and take action on the data collected. There can be a lot of information produced in healthcare, and being able to manage and analyze each carefully can mean improvements in a medical facility and its organization.
A great knowledge of how a system works – in this case healthcare – is required in data analysis.
2. Business intelligence
Besides knowing how things work in a certain area, knowing the company behind it is also crucial for making decisions, as one step can affect an entire organization.
3. Export, transport, load
Exporting, transporting, loading (ETL) or transferring data is a crucial skill that healthcare data analysts should know.
Transferring patient records and loading them with other data processing machines such as a costing system is an essential skill for integrated data that other departments can understand.
4. Structured Query Language (SQL)
Data analysts need to know how to manipulate and communicate with databases through SQL. This skill will help with automation and accurate data collection.
Interpreting data is one of the main skills that an analyst should have. The information gathered will be used by other members of the organization, such as doctors and other experts.
Data Analyst jobs
Here are some job postings for healthcare data analysts:
1. Senior Clinical Data Analyst
Arcus Biosciences, Inc. is seeking a Senior Clinical Data Analyst to conduct research and clinical data. The candidate’s responsibilities include creating responsive analytics, visual data displays and dashboards from various types of data to facilitate internal data consumption and decision making.
Arcus Biosciences is an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company researching the best cancer therapies.
2. Senior Data Analyst
Visby Medical is seeking a Senior Data Analyst in Bioinformatics and Biostatistics. The candidate should be responsible for the visualization and analysis of laboratory data. He / she must maintain and build a data management and reporting system.
Visby Medical is a molecular diagnostics company with a mission to provide diagnostic testing to people anytime, anywhere.
3. Senior Data Analyst
AbbVie is looking for a Senior Data Analyst specializing in Business Intelligence. The candidate will work with company executives to answer analytical questions and test hypotheses to drive company performance.
AbbVie is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies with a mission to discover and deliver new drugs that solve the biggest medical challenges people face today.
Learning the tricks of the trade to become the best health data analyst includes a willingness to learn and familiarity with a difficult area of medicine. But with the skills listed above in mind, mastering them can lead you to excel at this area.