Health care administration is changing in response to big data and the demand for fast, accurate and optimised care delivery. The COVID-19 pandemic is putting pressure on international health care systems, and healthcare administration professionals have a unique opportunity to leverage data to improve efficiency and care delivery.
This fusion of data analysis and health care administration will help systems around the world cope with added pressure amid COVID-19 and prepare for a data-centric future. For example, Innovation Gateway from Health Data Research UK is a leading-edge new resource that equips researchers with health statistics in the UK from more than 500 datasets drawn from organisations nationally.
Health care administrators are pursuing advanced education, such as an online MSc Business Analytics, to learn new skills — from extracting meaningful health information to quantifying future outcomes based on data.
How Are Health Statistics in the UK Used?
The applications of health data science are far-reaching. The global pandemic paired with the emergence of cutting-edge data and technology is changing the modern health care system. The widespread adoption of business analytics in healthcare is shaping the future of medicine and care delivery in several ways.
Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
One of the primary uses of big data in health care is the virtual storage of health records. EHRs allow health care providers to access patient records while ensuring they are private and secure. Researchers from the Journal of Big Data found that EHRs allow health care professionals to better manage patient data and improve care delivery in the following ways:
- Improve access to the entire medical history of a patient.
- Ensure patient medical records are kept up to date.
- Enable faster diagnosis and treatment.
- Reduce redundant medical exams.
- Reduce errors (ex. drug allergy detection).
Big Data in Health Research
Big data is everywhere, and medical research is dependent on the collection, extraction and visualisation of big data to produce research findings. According to the Journal of Big Data, big data enables optimised health research in the following ways:
- Results in a better understanding of biological processes.
- Allows modern care to excel at a faster pace.
- Leads to a rise in medical publications.
- Revolutionises personalised medicine.
Health Data Research UK is a national institute facilitating medical advances through collaboration in health data science. The organisation’s stated goal is this: “By making health data available to researchers and innovators we can better understand diseases and find ways to prevent, treat and cure them.”
Personalised Health Tracking Devices
Technology has given people access to personalised health data, from fitness tracker watches for everyday users to glucose monitoring devices for people with chronic conditions like diabetes. These devices collect health data that can be used in a health care setting. Tech Radar reported on the integration of personalised health data with overall health statistics.
- Wearable technologies are becoming more sophisticated and able to relay a person’s mood, breathing rate and glucose levels, therefore creating more data.
- Clinicians can use insights generated from fitness trackers to monitor lifestyle choices.
- Companies are interested in integrating personalised devices with people’s overall health records (with the patient’s consent).
Health Care Management Software
Health care administrators are responsible for a variety of tasks, including the handling of financial records, stocking hospital supplies and more. Powerful business and clinical communication platforms like Power Diary, Wellyx and LIS 365 use health data science, cloud-based software and mobile capabilities to streamline health care administration tasks. These tools help administrators accomplish the following:
- Drive decision-making with built-in data analysis and reporting.
- Engage in budget tracking and financial analytics.
- Manage and restock inventory.
- Automate scheduling and eliminate paperwork.
Telehealth is the use of digital information and online communication to administer and manage health care remotely. Prior to the spread of COVID-19 in Europe, telehealth in the UK was projected to rise by more than 10 percent from 2020 to 2025. The global pandemic has increased the adoption of telehealth applications worldwide. It is now a requirement that healthcare administrators understand how to use telehealth platforms and analyse the data drawn from such platforms. When health data science and telehealth are used successfully, they can:
- Improve patient-provider communication.
- Host virtual appointments.
- Enable e-prescriptions.
- Store patient records.
- Allow for remote patient monitoring.
- Integrate personal wellness tracking apps with clinical appointments.
How Do UK Health Statistics Relate to Business Analytics?
Big data is prevalent in health care systems, but raw data is useless to health care facilities without professionals able to engage in analytics. Business analytics is the “process by which businesses use statistical methods and technologies for analysing historical data to gain new insight and improve strategic decision-making.”
For example, PWC UK reports a client case study titled “Dashboards for improving patient care in the NHS.” By implementing a strategic integrated reporting system, the client benefitted from enhanced use of information and improvements in reporting.
Health care administrators and managers with a background in business analytics can translate data from electronic records, health care management platforms and telehealth dashboards into business strategies that will help health care facilities improve their service delivery and quality of care.
Professionals in health care management use the key learnings from a business analytics programme to improve the efficiency and care within their practice. Applications of business analytics include the opportunity for healthcare administrators to:
- Monitor outcomes like patient wait time or room utilisation on virtual dashboards and control charts.
- Use analytics to compare the cost and effectiveness of various treatments, medical devices, public health policies, etc.
- Track patient monitoring outcomes using chronic disease databases.
- Collect data and use predictive analysis to mitigate crisis or disaster (ex. COVID-19 cases are recorded to flatten the curve).
- Anticipate the expected patient flow and help with staffing using predictive analytics.
- Apply telehealth data to track the efficiency and ROI of virtual platforms in their practice.
Is Health Data Science Changing Health Care Administration and Management Roles?
Yes, health research and business analytics are essential in healthcare administration roles as technology enters nearly every facet of care delivery. Recruiters and employers now list technology skills as an essential prerequisite for professionals seeking health care administration jobs.
According to the National Health Service (NHS), pursuing a career in health management “offers unrivalled opportunity and variety.” Positions from finance and HR to practice management and operational management have one commonality — a reliance on contemporary technology that integrates business analytics and health data science.
Roles and Responsibilities
The purpose of a health care administration role remains consistent — to serve as a leader responsible for managing health services, finances, people and productivity in a health care setting. The purpose of health care administration is not changing, but the skills needed to fulfil this purpose are evolving in conjunction with data and technology innovations.
According to LinkedIn, a healthcare administrator in today’s modern landscape is responsible to:
- Oversee the management of health care services.
- Ensure staff and processes are compliant with the applicable laws and regulations.
- Maintain detailed record management systems.
- Analyse and track the financial operational efficiency of the practice.
- Track and monitor patient volume and the quality of services.
- Ensure adequate staffing and supervision of employees.
- Operate and analyse the success of telehealth applications.
Management Roles in Health Statistics in the UK
Across the nation and around the world, the field of health care offers an umbrella of different types of management roles. The United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS) employs over a million staff and are currently experiencing a “critical moment” as they seek to hire and retain skilled workers to fill staffing shortages.
Hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities need finance managers, HR personnel, practice managers and other essential personnel that use the latest health data research in the UK to keep health care practices efficient. Professionals in these roles increasingly rely on business analytics and benefit from proficiency in analytics skills. The NHS is hiring professionals in the following health care management and analytics roles:
Project and Programme Manager
Project and programme managers are concerned with implementing change in a clinical setting, from employee training to introducing new products or services. The typical health care-based project and programme manager will:
- Deliver health informatics, which involves recording, analysing, extracting and using data for the benefit of patients.
- Improve information transmission across healthcare organisations by developing communication avenues like a healthcare app.
- Introduce new technology, user training and streamlined business processes.
- Communicate the return on investment (ROI) of technology and new processes to stakeholders using financial data.
A business analyst evaluates systems and procedures to optimize operating effectiveness. In the NHS, the role of business analyst is categorized under project management and programme management. Business analysts in health care perform functions such as:
- Conducting information studies to analyze data systems.
- Evaluating potential scenarios and outcomes.
- Leading improvements in technological infrastructure.
- Creating workflows and improving efficiencies.
A clinical manager manages the day-to-day processes within medical clinics and outpatient facilities. Clinical managers are exceptionally organised and responsible for:
- Supervising clinical staff and clinical operations.
- Handling financial plans, budgets and inventory.
- Optimising patient care through regular clinic maintenance.
- Ordering and restocking supplies for the clinic.
- Communicating among patients and clinical staff.
A finance manager is an expert at financial reporting and often has a background in economics or finance. The position requires advanced math, analytical, and research skills. In a health care setting these professionals help hospitals, clinics and other practices effectively allocate financial resources. A health care finance manager:
- Monitors payroll, invoicing, transactions and other financial data.
- Relays data to third parties such as banks, insurance companies and government officials.
- Uses business analytics to mitigate financial risks.
- Prepares financial information into reports.
Human Resources Manager
HR managers are essential in almost every industry, but they are especially important for the coordination of health care staff. A health care HR manager is integral in the following:
- Recruit health care staff and promote employee retention.
- Use data to develop HR strategies outlining staffing requirements based on patient flow.
- Analyse staff training needs and implement training programmes.
- Track employee performance and undertake salary reviews.
A practice manager works closely with physicians and nurses to optimise patient services. These professionals often have a background in health care and relevant management experience. Practice managers are largely responsible for:
- Creating work procedures based on health research.
- Managing daily operations, including appointment scheduling, billing procedures, cleaning, security and occupational health and safety protocols.
- Using business analytics to manage patient records and health data research.
- Tracking the practice's progress in meeting targets.
What is the Salary Potential for Roles in Health Statistics in the UK?
Project and Programme Management, including Business Analyst
Salary: £45,753 – £51,668
Salary: £34K - £45K
Human Resources Manager
What are the Key Learnings From an Online MSc Business Analytics?
Students enrolled in a business analytics masters programme will learn a series of hands-on analytical skills as well as secondary leadership skills that encourage professional growth. The following four areas reflect the core focus of the business analytics masters programme:
- Evaluate and Assess: Use descriptive analytics to extract meaningful information from large amounts of data and visualise findings for ease of understanding.
- Predict and Project: Apply predictive analytics methods to anticipate patterns, estimate potential outcomes and model scenarios for a range of business needs.
- Prescribe Solutions: Guide business decision-making through prescriptive analytics that quantifies future outcomes with actionable data.
- Develop as a Professional: Build necessary skills in communication, presentation, consultation and business dynamics while also establishing leadership behaviours.
Courses and Curriculum
Aston University designed the business analytics masters curriculum to offer skills that are applicable in the modern workforce. The courses offered in a business analytics masters programme teach students how to use the latest data analytics technology and software and guide students on how to use data insights to become better leaders.
Aston University’s Business Analytics masters programme includes the following applied courses:
- Big Data for Decision Making
- Business Analytics in Practice
- Decision Models
- Descriptive Analytics
- Effective Management Consultancy
- Performance Analytics
- Software for Analytics
Is a Business Analytics Masters Programme Right For You?
With a background in business analytics, you can gain the vital skills needed for careers in health statistics in the UK. A business analytics masters programme is a key differentiator that will allow you to succeed professionally and help your practice succeed with you.
Aston University offers a flexible business analytics masters programme for motivated professionals. The online business analytics masters at Aston University grants students the following:
- 100 percent online programme
- Flexible study options for working professionals
- Affordable quality degree from a triple-accredited school (accredited by AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA)
- A global network of more than 90,000 alumni
With a career in business analytics, you can be part of advancing the quality of health care through health research and data science. Explore your possibilities with Aston University’s Online MSc Business Analytics.