How Real-World Evidence is Impacting Clinical Quality Measures

Guest post by Priya Sapra, chief product officer, SHYFT Analytics.

Priya Sapra
Priya Sapra

As the healthcare industry continues to become simultaneously more patient-centered as well as more performance-oriented, healthcare organizations and biotech companies alike are taking a closer look at how they can improve clinical quality measures. Although the industry has been widely criticized for a lack of meaningful, uniform industry standards, there’s no denying the link between understanding clinical effectiveness and improving overall patient outcomes. To truly assess quality, organizations need to make sense of the myriad of real-world evidence (RWE) data they already have at their fingertips.

RWE data enables a comprehensive understanding of data physician utilization patterns, patient treatment options, drug comparative effectiveness and more. However, the current, typical approach to RWE – a vast array of siloed databases, services-dependent, with access restricted to just two or three “power users” – has shown to be utterly ineffective. In fact, market estimates suggest big pharma spends $20 million dollars on average annually on RWE, but they are still no closer to fully understanding the real-world impact of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment on patients.

The problem is not a lack of data, but rather an inability to access RWE data quickly by the very people who are best suited to make sense of the information. Current strategies and tools simply cannot access, analyze, and deliver insights quickly enough for the information to be of use to the organization. However, new approaches to data analytics are ready to eliminate these historical roadblocks and transform RWE data into meaningful insights that can help measure clinical quality effectiveness.

Leveraging cloud-based analytics is one such approach. These solutions are increasingly becoming a critical tool to uncover how quality care initiatives are progressing. Unlike tools of the past, cloud-based offerings can provide rapid access to the data and derived insights in the language that resonates most when measuring quality. For instance, delivery via the cloud enables the real-time scalability necessary for RWE data. As the variety, volume and velocity of RWE data continues to increase, on-premises solutions simply cannot scale quickly enough to contend with terabytes of data and the analytic demands of its users.

Next, the end users need products that drive ongoing access and analysis. For so long, data has been stuck in silos, but the evolution of the industry requires an integrated solution to galvanize and empower this data. This includes a uniform way to leverage and disseminate data and insights across the organization which simply cannot be accomplished via services. Organizations have tried this approach in the past and failed; services alone cannot keep up with the organizational need to track and evaluate clinical quality information constantly and consistently over time.

Cloud-based analytics are quicker to stand up and quicker to process, delivering immediate insights from RWE data when needed most. Overall performance of any analytics solution is critical, as the shorter the time from business question to business answer, the greater the potential for turning that insight into action. Did that drug perform as expected in the target population? Why did a subset of the patient population switch or discontinue treatment? How did some treatment centers exceed patient goals, while others did not meet them? These are all questions that can be answered if RWE data is accessible and analyzed by the right constituents.

As healthcare companies continue to invest, create, and collect real-world evidence data, each of them must be able to turn that information into actionable insights as they seek to impact clinical quality measures and improve patient outcomes. With cloud-based offerings that can translate RWE data into tangible insights, organizations can begin to understand how their processes contribute to quality enhancements and foster opportunities to further improve the patient experience.

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