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Different Types of Healthcare Data

By Jean-Luc Coquerel on May 21, 2020

Healthcare Analytics

The collection of healthcare data from various sources and the interpretation of that data is crucial to optimize patient care. Healthcare data improves communication between patients and healthcare providers and provides doctors with an in-depth understanding of specific health conditions.

Let’s take an in-depth look at the different types of healthcare data and their value to the medical industry.

 

Datasets

Datasets are primary sources of healthcare information and the source that healthcare providers consult first. They are generally information-rich and ideal for healthcare providers who need data on measurements, statistics, demographics, or insurance.

Some examples of data sets in healthcare include the:

  • World Health Organization
  • Human Mortality Database
  • National Center for Health Statistics
  • U.S. Census Bureau
  • National Cancer Institute

 

Research Studies and Clinical Trials

Clinical research in the form of observational studies and clinical trials is a valuable type of data in healthcare. Other types of primary data sources in healthcare primarily rely on clinical studies for their information, including curated sources, among others.

Clinical trials are critical for discovering new treatments for health conditions and finding ways to detect and diagnose diseases.

 

Curated Sources

This type of healthcare data includes data collection from various sources such as clinical trials, electronic health records, and registries. In many cases, the healthcare data in a curated source pertains to a specific population, which helps healthcare providers formulate the most effective treatments.

Because the data in a curated source comes from several sources, they are rich in information but may be challenging to navigate.

 

Claims Data

Claims data, or administrative data, is an electronic health record from healthcare provider notes. Doctors typically record this information while they are seeing patients. Claims databases can also gather date from doctor’s appointment records, bills, and patients’ insurance information.

One drawback of claims data is that it is retrospective and not always ideal for optimal population healthcare.

 

Electronic Health Records

Electronic health records (EHRs) are valuable sources of healthcare data. An EHR is a patient’s paper chart but in a digital format. These records contain extensive information on a patient’s health, including:

  • Previous diagnoses
  • Medical history
  • Treatment plans and medications
  • Laboratory and test results
  • Immunization details and dates
  • Radiology images

Authorized healthcare providers can share EHRs with other healthcare facilities, which means an EHR contains information from all providers who treated a patient and acts as a complete health record.

 

What Types of Databases Does Healthcare Use?

Another prominent type of healthcare data is databases. Most public medical databases are easily accessible, including:

  • TOXNET
  • PubMed
  • HealthData.gov
  • PsycINFO


In addition to these public databases, there are also academic, paid, and private databases. Some of these databases only provide information on specific medical disciplines and are generally easy to use.

 

Contact Syntrix

At Syntrix, we provide high-quality medical data reporting and analytics solutions to healthcare facilities and providers. If you need data solutions that include report creation and data extracts for optimal patient care, regulatory compliance, and unit management, contact us today.

 

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