GSK and nonprofit shrink Big Data down to size

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GSK and nonprofit shrink Big Data down to size
GSK and nonprofit shrink Big Data down to size

The storyline of late has been about how Big Data is going to transform pretty much everything. GlaxoSmithKline and the nonprofit Community Care of North Carolina announced an effort earlier this month that seeks to take the Big Data concept—healthcare trends and specifically adherence—and translate it into a local, quality-of-care concept. It also happens to fit squarely with the push in medicine to focus on outcomes.

In this case the goal is predictive analytics that will help the nonprofit access items such as a patient's prescription history, hospital admissions and discharge information and then use that data to predict if the patient will have a negative outcome. GlaxoSmithKline's role is a somewhat removed one—its professionals will help craft rules for processes which pharmacist-by-training and GSK's senior director of payment and delivery reform Jon Easter tells MM&M could improve care and delivery reform and “address some of the problems with medication management.” The company will not, however, be in the room with HCPs as they sketch out a treatment protocol. Easter likens it to providing the tools a mechanic may have in a garage, but with the mechanic, or in this case, HCPs, choosing which ones are appropriate.

"What I'm focused on is this marketplace, and how it is evolving from a volume-driven marketplace to a value-driven marketplace,” Easter says.

The goal of what the partners call a "small data" project appears to be in line with a recent discussion about looking at adherence from a more holistic perspective, such as the one outlined in Medical Care's September issue which looked at factors that can predict general patient adherence trends, but in smaller, geographically defined areas. CCNC's president and CEO Allen Dobson, Jr., said in a statement that the partnership is one that can “provide a roadmap of sorts . . . to help providers treat a large number of at-risk patients in a more highly individualized way.”

This could feel like a bit of a privacy reach, with pharma in the mix, and while Easter acknowledges that there could be apprehension about industry working with patient data and having an invested party involved with medical resources, he says the divide between the company and the facility is clear. Easter says the company's participation is grounded in HIPAA. He also adds that the partnership is not a marketing ploy or a program that is being considered from a future marketing standpoint, but is rather one that will help healthcare track with emphasis on quality of care. In Accountable Care Organization speech, this roughly translates into showing the proof of concept before treatment, a point ACOs have repeatedly told the industry that it needs to provide.

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