By Brendan Watkins, chief analytics officer, Stanford Children’s Health.
Regardless of industry, the purpose of analytics is to better utilize data to improve organizational understanding, which leads to better decision-making. In health care, this is true for both individual clinicians making judgment calls based on patient needs and for the health system as a whole.
The health care industry has had (and continues) to navigate challenges in the way that we collect and analyze data. Now, health care faces an additional challenge: simplifying the vast amounts of information at our disposal so the most important insights are immediately clear and are translated into action.
In pediatrics, this is increasingly difficult. While children are generally a very healthy segment of the population, it is important to understand the unique social and environmental conditions of these patients – and how these manifest over time as they grow and mature at different stages. It’s also important to remember that while kids are generally healthy, many pediatric and adolescent patients have complex care needs.