Business Intelligence

Healthcare’s similarity to pro sports: Both are being transformed by predictive analytics

By October 11, 2016 No Comments

Baseball, football and other major league sports in the U.S. and around the world have all seen some degree of transformation thanks to the power of predictive analytics. The effective application of analytics has changed the way teams scout potential draft picks and free agents, analyze the performance of current players, craft contracts that better align with club financial considerations and salary cap limitations, and more. Of course, predictive analytics has also helped teams with more universal concerns, like improving engagement and facilities management.

So, what do the advantages of predictive analytics for sports teams have to do with healthcare? The recent hiring of Paul DePodesta, an advanced analytics pioneer with baseball's Oakland Athletics and one of the subjects of the book and film "Moneyball" by Michael Lewis, by the Scripps Translational Science Institute, is the bridge between the two topics. As industry news source Hospitals & Health Networks pointed out, DePodesta believes the same data concepts that help pro sports teams can be applied to healthcare, with similar results.

"DePodesta believes the same data concepts that help pro sports teams can be applied to healthcare."

Applying predictive analytics to improve healthcare operations and outcomes
The insight generated by healthcare performance management efforts based on predictive analytics has the power to substantially improve healthcare in a number of ways, from greater understanding of patient conditions and public health trends to improvement of facility operations. What's critical is healthcare providers embracing new systems and maintaining an inquisitive, open mind to the applications of analytics.

"Medicine is just beginning to explore this opportunity, but it faces many of the same barriers that existed in those other sectors – deeply held traditions, monolithic organizational and operational structures and a psychological resistance to change," DePodesta said when he joined the STSI faculty.

Modern Healthcare said officials from STSI are excited to have DePodesta on board, as he can apply both proven ability and an outsider's perspective to the development of effective analytical processes and solutions. While there are a significant number of unique factors in medicine that range from many laws and regulations regarding confidentiality to the practical considerations of patient care, there are also plenty of areas where an experienced analytics professional can help the healthcare field improve as a whole. As predictive analytics continue to improve a variety of crucial healthcare elements, providers must consider the growing value of incorporating such processes into their own facilities.

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