A different world: Data analytics from a medical provider’s perspective

Tim Duer

Data, Analytics, Healthcare, COVID-19

February 10, 2020

I’ve been working with Causeway Solutions for about a year. My initial role was providing brainstorms for the melding of analytics and health, and now I work to incorporate medical epidemiology and system knowledge into our expanding healthcare portfolio. Simply put, I serve as a translator between the languages and cultural differences of the healthcare and data worlds.

My work history began 17 years ago as a practicing physical therapist, helping patients of all ages to recover from injuries and surgeries. Over time, I progressed to a clinical supervisor and then an ambulatory services hospital manager. During this time, I have been able to integrate the perspective of both the health care provider and patient with the goals of the hospital administrator. The connection seems like it should be obvious, but it is often anything but. Hospital leadership is often told that the clinical process is untouchable – not realizing that true “evidence-based care” is promoted by all but is too rarely implemented. Physicians assume that any focus by leadership on the financial bottom line will divert from the “art” of clinical care. I’ve learned to be the liaison (or more often the arbitrator) between these two groups within the hospital system; helping each to look to common goals and realize that there is potential for future growth that collectively benefits administrators, providers, and patients.

Changing industries has required me to learn the new language of analytics, and I have pushed the Causeway Solutions staff to learn the world of healthcare. As a data team, they have years of knowledge and understanding regarding predictive modeling, consumer preferences, and strategy implementation. However, prior to my arrival, the team has never had to discuss determinants of health, risk factors, and surgical outcomes. Similarly, when working for a hospital, not once did I ever hear about data warehousing or Azure Data Lake Analytics (they still need to teach me about this one). Through the combination of our experiences, we are developing a new language for the future of health care analytics.

The outlook for Causeway Solutions healthcare division is bright and the potential for innovation remains significant. Our new vision of health care analytics will provide hospitals with better opportunities for patient acquisition and patient care. To succeed, we just all must learn the new language.