We've talked a lot on this blog about the critical need hospital finance directors have to identify, collect and analyze actionable data. It's one thing to know a lot about your constituent healthcare consumer population; it's another thing entirely to figure out what about them or among them you can directly influence.
Unfortunately, many hospitals still face the challenge of unstructured, siloed data. Many EMRs and data storage systems rely on scanned documents and transcribed notes. In fact, it has been estimated that as much as 80 to 90 percent of all patient data existing on EMRs today is stored in free-text notes and scanned documents. The data is there for analysis, but it's buried in reams of PDFs, image files and spreadsheets. It's not intuitively searchable. There's a lack of standardization in titling, format, recording style, etc. Data is neither easily accessed (unless one knows exactly where to look) nor securely stored.