Podcast: How Data Science Benefits Healthcare Practices

Become a data-driven practice to boost your revenue. To learn more, listen to the podcast or read a transcript of the audio.

Hi, everyone. Welcome back to another edition of the Sikka Software podcast. Today we are going to talk about how data science will benefit healthcare practice management, and we will discuss this topic using some actual examples from Sikka Software.

The popularity of the term “data science” has exploded in business since 2012. Nowadays, the impact of data science can be seen across many sectors. Telecom and financial services are two early adopters, with technology and healthcare being third and fourth, respectively. Healthcare especially is an industry that is currently experiencing increased adoption of data analytical tools due to the tremendous size and complexity of the data available. Today, up to 30 percent of the world’s warehoused data comes from the healthcare industry, and about 1.2 billion clinical documents are being produced in the United States annually.

As a practice leader in this era of booming data, you must know that your data is your most valuable asset. Embracing data science can help you better understand your patients and your business. Let’s look at some significant ways data science is advancing the healthcare practice through some examples from the Sikka platform.

Data science can help healthcare providers to get an in-depth understanding of their patients, even if they don’t have his or her 360 medical record. For example, Sikka’s Health Risk Score and Tobacco Score indicator tools help a dentist predict a patient’s general health level or a non-disclosed life habit with techniques like mortality analysis, survival analysis, and machine learning.

Health Risk Score established the link between general health level and oral health history data. By collecting a variety of data from a patient’s oral history, like hygiene procedures (including frequency of regular checkups, diagnostic and preventive procedures history, etc.), restorative procedures (including fillings and root canal information, etc.), undergoing treatments record, and surgery procedures history (such as tooth extractions), the tool analyzes to what extent each factor positively or negatively affects the patient’s well-being and then interprets the results into an easy-to-understand score (shown on a scale of 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating a greater health risk). With the score, a dentist will then be able to discuss certain health issues with their patients and come up with a plan to help the patients to manage and improve their oral and overall health. 

The Tobacco Score indicator utilizes artificial intelligence and natural language technology to predict a patient’s smoking habit. This score is also important for health insurance companies when it comes to insurance evaluation and plan renewals. The score can predict whether patients are smokers or not, how long they have been smoking, and if they are new smokers.

Data science can also help with handling revenue goals for your practice so that you can spend your time on things that matter.

Are you struggling with setting the business goals for next month or year? Feeling frustrated when you finally have an hour for an all-hands meeting discussing the next year plan, but no one really knows how much revenue your practice made this year and how much more should be generated next year?

Then you may need an intelligent business strategy advisor. This is exactly what Sikka Software is doing. The Sikka platform can help you set a realistic goal based on your practice’s previous performances and your patients’ consumption. For short-term goals, Practice Optimizer helps you estimate the monthly production and collection according to the amount and purposes of the total appointments, and you will have a clear view of your progress in production for each day.

Another benefit is that when there is a big production/collection gap or there is a sharp increase in no shows for several days, you probably want to notice as early as possible so that you can take actions immediately to fix the unbalance to ensure the cash flow,or to follow up with calls with no-show patients for rescheduled appointments. For long-term goals, the forecasting reports show you the key observations on a managerial level, like positive performing indices (such as yearly production or total amount of appointments) and negative performing indices (such as missed recare patients, or no shows), which could be an essential supporting information for your annual meeting. 5-year reports may raise your horizon and help set your next five-year plan.  

Data science has already penetrated every aspect of healthcare, no matter if it’s treatment, practice management, patient communication, or payment method. Embrace data, be data-driven, and you will make your practice more profitable. 

Thanks for tuning in to the Sikka Software podcast where we give you tips and strategies to improve your practice’s performance. Until next time.

Leave a Reply