James E. Nelson and Thora A. Johnson were interviewed by Becker's Hospital Review on September 13, 2017, for an article discussing the regulatory challenges hospital leaders should consider when working with patient data.
When asked how analytics are changing the healthcare industry, Nelson said, "The confluence of the volume of data that's being collected with the sophistication of computing powers is driving change in healthcare. We're watching its adoption in two particular areas. One is on the payment side of things, with recovery audits, financial analytics and the overall delivery of services. The second is the personalized medicine, the individualized treatments and the analytics associated with the actual care being delivered and the diagnoses being made. So much of the data monetization activities that are going on began with an efficiency drive, with consistency, reduced errors and other benefits that come from analytics."
On a hospital's first step to data mining, Johnson said, "Safeguard that data. You need to make sure that patient data is kept secure and that you consider what actual rights you have to use and disclose that data. You need to make sure you have taken all the necessary precautions as best you can to safeguard that information within the regulatory framework in which you are working. Healthcare is a very regulated industry. You've got HIPAA, which has safeguards and limits the uses and disclosures of identifiable health information. Then you have state law, and some states have more robust infrastructure than others. And there's always the Federal Trade Commission in the background, dealing with consumers. Do consumers have adequate knowledge as to how their medical data may or may not be used at your hospital?"