What are the primary reason and the need to aggregate data in health care? Explain your answer with examples
Data aggregation in health care means collecting many different types of information into one unified data asset. The primary reason for the practice is that it allows an organization, such as a hospital, the National Healthcare Association, or even World Health Organization, to bring all the data together and realize patterns that they would normally not be able to recognize.
For instance, Longhurst, Harrington, and Shah (2014) suggest that electronic healthcare records can be very useful for retrospective studies, which can use practice-based evidence to conclude a matter of interest. According to Longhurst et al. (2014), even though randomized controlled trials are the gold standard for research in health care, there appeared a need for a cheaper alternative for acquiring scientific data. Therefore, data aggregation can facilitate research in medicine, as it offers fast and easy access to health care information.
In a narrower setting data accumulation and structuring can enable hospital management to analyze patients and doctors in groups rather than separately. For example, a database that consists of aggregated data may let a healthcare institution realize that patients attending a certain specialist tend to revisit the hospital more often than others. The fact may be due to the low qualifications of a doctor and allows hospital authorities to react to the matter in due time. In conclusion, the health care data aggregation helps to uncover patterns that would be seen otherwise.
Longhurst, C., Harrington, R., & Shah, N. (2014). A ‘green button’ for using aggregate patient data at the point of care. Health Affairs, 33(7), 1229-1235. Web.