IDC Health Insights has revealed a new methodology to help healthcare organisations navigate the challenges of big data and analytics (BDA) projects aimed at supporting the achievement of integrated care objectives.As European health systems face increasing pressure on care services due to resource constraints and an aging population with chronic diseases, integrated care seems an ideal solution to address health system sustainability challenges.

Integrated care pathways, involving greater collaboration between hospital and primary care as well as social care settings, will require information to be relevant to the context in which it is shared to fully unlock its value.

IDC Health Insights finds that BDA technologies can be instrumental in achieving integrated care objectives, helping combining data from various sources to extract insights for improved healthcare outcomes on both an individual and a population level.

To help healthcare executives build this strategy, IDC Health Insights presents an information management framework to navigate through the changes in IT governance and management required by integrated care that need to be applied when starting to invest in BDA.

This framework is structured around three macro areas — business strategy, information governance, and enterprise information architecture (EIA) — and is intended to provide a high-level checklist for healthcare executives making strategic choices for integrated care implementation in a consistent manner.

As the impact of BDA goes beyond the enabling pure technology stack, these three areas are analysed across the whole workflow of BDA, from data creation and acquisition to information processing and the integration of insights into business process decisions.

With this scheme and a step-by-step approach for turning BDA initiatives into a virtuous iterative journey, healthcare organisations will be able to manage the changes in their skills, culture, goals, and incentives required by BDA implementations supporting integrated care.

“Healthcare providers can overcome the business and technology challenges to effectively share patient information in an integrated care paradigm only with a consistent strategy and a thorough implementation approach,” says Silvia Piai, EMEA research manager, IDC Health Insights.

“In this sense, leveraging the BDA opportunity will require healthcare executives to plan for an end-to-end information management strategy that takes into consideration overall business objectives, new process technology, and organisation aspects described in this methodology.”