Medical technology concept healthcare data analyst

Healthcare data analysts are making a huge difference in the improvement of modern treatment. From reducing healthcare costs, making a medical process run smoothly, and even developing and discovering new drugs, they are involved.

Let’s take a look at what a data analyst provides in healthcare.

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What Does a Healthcare Data Analyst Do?

Healthcare data analysts help improve the system of an organization through the collection and interpretation of data using electronic health records, patient satisfaction surveys, cost reports, and billing claims.

They are also called healthcare business analysts or health information management (HIM) analysts.

How an organization improves its quality of care, cost of care, and improvement in patient experience is through the data collected by an analyst. They are vital to the development of a company since they give out the data and information on where and what an organization should focus on.

What Is the Role of Data Analytics in Healthcare?

healthcare data analyst

Data analytics in healthcare take care of learning the processes and analyzing historical and current trends and data to improve a business further. This field of business covers all angles from the macro to micro level. Overall, it helps with the improvement of healthcare through the data being researched and analyzed.

In addition to that, data analytics is essential for healthcare to reduce the costs of treatment, predict disease outbreaks, prevent illnesses, and raise the quality of care for the patients.

Here are some practical examples of how data analytics is used in healthcare:

1. Predicting Outbreaks

The power of data analytics helps doctors and hospitals prepare for outbreaks by predicting trends on how illnesses are spread. 

A report from Harvard revealed how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collected data about flu cases for the past decade and how doctors prepare and adjust for it every year, especially during flu season. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic happening, data analytics help predict cases for hospitals and governments to prepare.

2. Detecting Anomalies

Data analysis can detect anomalies in scans through machine learning algorithms.

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2018 created data reading technologies that can read MRI scans and other 3D images. The data collected helps save time and provides accurate readings.

However, relying too much on machine algorithms is worrying to some scientists. Citing that there still needs to have some human touch when dealing with these data. This is where the analysts come in.

“Without human thought and guidance throughout the entire process, none of these seemingly fantastical machine-learning applications would be possible,” Harvard professor Dustin Tingley said.

3. Data For Evaluating Practitioners

Data collected to evaluate practitioners is being used thru data analysis. This helps improve the process of an organization and improve the development of professionals with feedback collected.

This example was proven in a study conducted by Dr. Helen Reiss. She let patients rate physicians on how empathic they were during checkups as a controlled test. Half of the doctors received empathy training after the initial test. Those who were trained were rated higher for empathy in the second round of evaluation, proving how training could increase a physician’s empathy. The lack of this trait relates to fewer malpractice claims and improvements in patients’ safety.

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How to Become a Healthcare Data Analyst? What Are The Top Skills Needed To Be One?

working late at night healthcare data analyst

Data analysis is crucial in healthcare, and having these traits and knowledge on how to become one is important to know, especially for those interested in this line of work.

1. Data Analysis

The most important skill is to have the ability to read, analyze, and take action on data collected. There can be a lot of information produced in healthcare, and being able to manage and analyze each one carefully can mean improvements in a medical facility and its organization.

Great knowledge of how a system works — in this case, healthcare — is required in data analysis.

2. Business Intelligence

In addition to knowing how things work in a certain field, knowing the business behind it is also crucial for making decisions since one step can affect an entire organization. 

3. Export, Transport, Load

Export, Transport, Load (ETL), or transfer of data is a crucial skill that health data analysts need to know.

Transferring patients’ record and loading it with other data processing machines like a costing system is an essential skill for an integrated data other departments can understand.

4. Structured Query Language (SQL)

Data analysts should know how to manipulate and talk to databases through SQL. This skill will help with the automation and precise collection of data.

5. Interpretation

Interpretation of data is one of the top skills an analyst must possess. The collected information will be used by other organization members, such as physicians and other experts. 

Data Analyst Jobs

Here are some job openings for data analysts in healthcare:

1. Sr. Clinical Data Analyst

Arcus Biosciences, Inc. is looking for a senior clinical data analyst to do clinical data and research. The candidate’s responsibilities include creating fit-for-purpose analyses, visual data displays, and dashboards from diverse data types to aid in internal data consumption and decision-making.

Arcus Biosciences is an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company that is looking for the best cancer therapies. 

2. Lead Data Analyst

Visby Medical is in search of a lead data analyst in bioinformatics and biostatistics. The candidate should be responsible for the visualization and analysis of laboratory data. He/she is expected to maintain and build a data management and reporting system. 

Visby Medical is a molecular diagnostics company that has a mission to provide diagnostic tests to people anytime and anywhere.

3. Sr Data Analyst

AbbVie is looking for a senior data analyst focusing on business intelligence. The candidate will work with the company’s executives to answer analytical questions and test hypotheses to drive business performance. 

AbbVie is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies globally on a mission to discover and deliver new medicines that solves the biggest medical challenges people are facing right now.

Learning the ropes in becoming the best healthcare data analyst includes the willingness to learn and familiarity in a tough field of medicine. But with the skills listed above in mind, mastering them can lead you to excel in this field.


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