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While predictive analytics offers many substantial benefits to many different industries, there's no area where the outcomes business intelligence software improve matter more on a life-or-death level than in the healthcare field. Hospitals that take advantage of a healthcare management system can move toward more proactive care, utilizing useful predictions and forecasts that arise out of the mountains of patient-related data collected. This strategy helps hospital staff reduce the chance of missing minor indications of a serious or life-threatening event and augment their already considerable levels of skill, experience and education.

Improving immediate and long-term health outcomes
The IBM Big Data & Analytics Hub recently discussed the benefits of predictive analytics in the healthcare realm, likening the advantages it provides to having flashing signs displaying vital medical information above the heads of patients as they enter a facility. While there's no way to absolutely and conclusively determine the root causes of patient symptoms before they arrive for an appointment or treatment, predictive analytics provides a level of insight that was previously unavailable to the vast majority of healthcare providers. Using advanced solutions allows for the type of research and discovery that would otherwise be prohibitive in terms of time and labor required.

Predictive analytics helps hospitals identify many problems before they become serious emergencies. Predictive analytics helps hospitals identify many problems before they become serious emergencies.

A process as simple as using predictive analytics in conjunction with existing electronic health records can yield major results. The IBM Hub article highlighted the case of healthcare providers in Maine using such an approach to analyze the EHRs of the roughly 1.3 million residents of the state, a story originally told by the Bangor Daily News. By using prior data to determine if patients exhibited risk factors for particular diseases, healthcare providers gained the ability to make determinations about potential health issues and complications before those patients had to make a trip to the emergency room. The program had a 74 percent success rate in predicting an ER visit before it actually happened, a strong indication of the program's success.

There are a wide range of metrics that predictive analytics can track and improve in the healthcare field, from determining performance levels for a variety of health system facilities and sites to claims tracking and fraud mitigation. That is, of course, in addition to the various forms of insight and prediction that these solutions provide in terms of patient health.