The American healthcare system is at a crossroads, and analytics, as an organizational skill, figures to play a pivotal role in its future. As more healthcare systems capture information electronically and as they begin to collect more novel forms of data, such as human DNA, how will we leverage these resources and use them to improve human health at a manageable cost? In this article, we argue that analytics will play a fundamental role in the transformation of the American healthcare system.
However, there are numerous challenges to the application and use of analytics, namely the lack of data standards, barriers to the collection of high-quality data, and a shortage of qualified personnel to conduct such analyses. There are also multiple managerial issues, such as how to get end users of electronic data to employ it consistently for improving healthcare delivery, and how to manage the public reporting and sharing of data. In this article, we explore applications of analytics in healthcare, barriers and facilitators to its widespread adoption, and how analytics can help us achieve the goals of the modern healthcare system: high-quality, responsive, affordable, and efficient care.