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Healthcare data quality market poised for growth

Rachel Wheeler Archive
The healthcare industry is in the throes of a major push to update reporting methods and data storage. To get doctors to trade in their paper medical charts for electronic health records, the federal government is taking a carrot-and-stick approach, offering incentive payments for early adoption and reimbursement cuts if physicians fall behind.

However, it's become apparent that all data isn't created equal. Some sets are worse than others, especially if they are missing information or contain expired content. This can present liability concerns for hospitals and doctors, since poor data quality could lead to mistakes in patient care. For instance, a doctor might administer the wrong dosage of a medication because a patient's chart wasn't updated with new prescription information or data was entered in the record of the wrong Mrs. Jane Smith.

Healthcare analytics market to see double-digit growth
As the potential for these issues to occur has gained attention, so has the need for data quality tools to verify patient data, identify content that's missing information and highlight inaccurate data. recently released a new report showing that the demand for healthcare analytics is expected to surge between 2012 and 2017, jumping from a $3.7 billion market to one that's worth $10.8 billion.

The report explains that several factors are behind this growth, including healthcare reform, payers and providers that want to reduce fraud and predictive analytics that can advance research.

Louisiana Tumor Registry receives award for data quality
The Louisiana Tumor Registry at Louisiana State University's Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health is one facility that has taken steps to ensure its data quality is upheld. The Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute recently named the program the winner of its 2012 data quality award.

The Louisiana Tumor Registry collects information from 18 population-based registries about tumor characteristics, patient demographics, tumors' advancement at the point of diagnosis, treatment plans and survival rates. The SEER Program determines winners based on whether or not the information recorded is complete or missing key data about patient demographics, follow-up rates and tumor variables. The 2012 award marks the third year in a row that the Louisiana Tumor Registry has won the title for its continued commitment to ensuring data quality remains a top priority.