How Using Big Data in Healthcare IT is Saving Lives

Healthcare providers are constantly looking for ways to maximize productivity while ensuring they provide excellent patient care. Utilizing the best Healthcare IT systems has proven to be an exemplary means of accomplishing this.  But in what other ways can Healthcare IT improve medical practices?

Some believe that the huge push for prioritizing productivity has started to jeopardize an even more important aspect of what these practices provide: safety.  Doctor Gidi Stein is one of many to acknowledge this.  He was left speechless hearing how minute significance was realized concerning a case where a child was killed when their doctor selected the wrong drug from the pull-down menu of an online prescription form.

It was this very case of malpractice that inspired Doctor Stein to start his own company that would use big data to improve safety in healthcare practices worldwide. MedAware is a big-data platform that accesses a practice’s electronic health records to cross reference prescriptions with patterns in the diagnoses and records of similar patients.  The system will flag any order for a drug that is deemed “irregular”, and won’t be submitted to a pharmacy until affirmed by the physician.  The software utilizes a mathematical model to identify patterns between patients, diagnoses, and drugs, and will identify discrepancies, place drug orders on hold, and require further verification.

After MedAware’s presentation this year at HIMSS, the software has analyzed over 40 million different prescriptions, and has triggered over 7,000 alerts.  Although not a significant ratio (thankfully), the amount of lives this software has the capacity to save represents a huge step in utilizing big data in Healthcare IT to improve more than just blind productivity for Healthcare providers.