Operational Data Store in Healthcare

Updated on July 26, 2021

The global digital transformation is shaking all industries to the core and compels almost all sectors to switch to effective solutions to remain competitive and productive. These changes also affected the healthcare sector to the extent that some institutions had to change their data architecture structures and systems. 

Improving data availability and application expediency, Operational Data Stores have started being widely used in the healthcare industry. There are a lot of applications that currently use ODS structures and plenty of projects in the pipeline. Here is how it has currently revolutionized the healthcare sector.

Aggregated data in hospital networks

Private hospitals often have a larger chain of hospitals either nationally and sometimes even globally. On the other hand, public hospitals often run on the same systems within a state or district. However, unfortunately, each hospital has its disparate system and despite regular cloud-based SaaS systems integrating them can be challenging. To provide a highly effective solution, ODS systems can be utilized to aggregate data in hospital networks. 

All the data that needs to be accessed globally can be added to the database once and then the ODS database design will replicate the data for universal availability. Therefore, this aggregated data in both private and public hospitals can allow easier scalability of operations. Also, this minimizes the efforts contributed to data collection, especially from disparate hardware nodes spread out across the different facilities.

Data reporting on clinical trials

Clinical trials can have a lot of data that is consistently streaming in and sometimes maybe even being queried on the client side. Consider a clinical drug trial being carried out on human beings to observe any side effects before it is rolled out at mass. There are many guidelines that inform a person taking the drug on precautions and what to do when experiencing adverse side effects. 

That data can be classified as the output data, which may not be as much as incoming data. If a drug trial is being conducted globally, the data input from all the people trialing it can come in from different localized data centers at a time. To aggregate all that data, clinical trial centers can use ODS systems to provide a unified report on how it is going globally.

Patient data storage and availability

Sometimes patients could be nomads and if they fall sick in a country halfway across the globe, having patient data stored digitally for quick access can be greatly beneficial. The reason being this is beneficial is that sometimes when patients are brought to the hospital, they are incapacitated. To choose the most beneficial course of treatment, doctors might need to go over the patient’s health record. 

Although we are a far cry from aggregating data for every hospital and clinic across the globe, hospital networks can exchange this kind of data. Having a global Operational Data Store of patient health records that are maintained under HIPAA regulations can prove helpful. This could even help with universal billing for procedures and any medication that might have been used on the patient.

Powering patient-doctor applications

With the advent and rapid acceleration of telemedicine powered by cloud-based technologiesmany different applications are being trialed globally. Some of these apps help with consumer healthcare directly, whereas others assist with trying to monitor chronic diseases and how to best manage them. Diseases that do not have a cure yet, like cancer, diabetes and hypertension, can be monitored by daily patient input. The data can be directly sent to the doctors but it could also be needed by research healthcare workers closely monitoring the project.

Since these patient-doctor applications might also have a lot of data streaming in at once from different localized data centers, an ODS system could be of great benefit. If the study takes a long period, the data can be aggregated on an ODS structure. However, after the relevant reports have been generated, they can then be stored in a data warehouse.

Process automation through ODS systems

Managing a healthcare institution is a hard task, especially when there are multiple facilities or buildings under your purview and the volume of patients is high. Operational data from each facility could be very crucial in making swift decisions and to support automated tasks, ODS structured systems can be utilized. 

For example, applications that have been designed to monitor things such as oxygen tank levels, equipment maintenance, and repair, as well as other processes, collect a lot of data. Instead of just being notified when these tools and these pieces of equipment are in dangerous conditions, you can get a periodical aggregated data report. An ODS system can be used on a BI visualization tool for easily readable data that simplifies key decision-making to a great extent.

Benchmarking day-to-day operational data using ODS systems

In addition to process automation and providing critical business insights by tying in ODS aggregated data with a BI tool, you can also use it to benchmark operational performance. Considering applications such as client survey forms, complaint calls logged in a CRM tool, and staffing reports, you can get an overview of the state of your healthcare facility. 

You can also consider reports on facility management, patient overflow and so much more to benchmark the operational data from a month-to-month basis. By benchmarking this day-to-day operational data, you can identify ways to improve service and working conditions. Overall, through data funneled through an ODS, you can make a conducive environment for patients to heal and healthcare workers to reach their full potential.

Closing thoughts

Operational Data Store systems are the perfect fit for almost all subsectors in the healthcare industry. For example, the application of ODS systems can be seen in the clinical drug trial subsector to managing and improving hospital environments. It also helps hospitals have a universal patient data storage unit that is available to healthcare workers within a particular hospital network. This could even simplify billing for treatments done overseas by a hospital part of the same network.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.