How Physicians Are Driving Data Analytics Advances In Health Care

Don Tennant | IT Business Edge | November 19, 2014

You’d think physicians would have enough to worry about, with all that medical stuff they have to deal with. But it seems that in addition to the stethoscope draped around their necks, a lot of them are wearing a data analytics hat.

That’s only one of quite a few takeaways I gleaned from a fascinating conversation with Mike Berger, vice president of enterprise analytics at Geisinger Health System, a hospital system in Danville, Pa. I met with Berger at last month’s Teradata 2014 Partners conference in Nashville, and in addition to sharing his experience as a Teradata customer, he shed an informative light on the role medical practitioners are playing in the advance of data analytics in the health-care sector. “I know within my organization, there’s a lot of pressure to jump to this Hadoop thing—jump to Big Data—because it’s new, and it’s sexy,” Berger said. “The Mayo Clinic is doing it, so we better be doing it, too.” And where is that pressure coming from? Berger had no problem identifying the source:

It’s coming from new clinical leadership that is a little younger, and a little more fearless, which is fun—it’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing. They want to jump into the sexy stuff that’s getting all the profile  … We have some very, very smart doctors who do more [than just clinical work]. You’ve got a handful of physicians who are given very IT-esque leadership functions...