In a move that will help accelerate the transformation of U.S. healthcare around evidence-based medicine, Deloitte Consulting LLP and Intermountain Healthcare are announcing a landmark alliance around big data and analytics.
Drawing on Deloitte's leading-class professional services and informatics capabilities and Intermountain's pioneering experiences in capturing and using data to provide high-quality care at lower costs, the organizations have signed a five-year deal to develop and provide health analytics insights to the medical community.
Leaders at both companies say the alliance will help the healthcare industry unlock the power of big data to reduce costs and improve patient outcomes. They note that health care has arrived to a point in which vast reservoirs of clinical data are collected, but the riddle is how to translate the information into meaningful insights.
"Health care is on the verge of realizing significant gains from big data, but it takes new tools and new approaches around collaboration to get there," said Jason Girzadas, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP. "This alliance will work to provide the health-care industry a destination center for the insights needed to change health care."
Marc Probst, chief information officer at Intermountain, said this development "will help usher a new wave of innovation" throughout the nation's health system. The use of our technologies will allow clinicians and researchers to more quickly discover practices that improve quality and keep costs lower. "Research studies that previously might have taken years to complete could be conducted in just a few weeks instead," Probst said.
Intermountain has been using computers since the 1970s to amass one of the world's largest and most detailed repositories of clinical and financial data coming from its 22 hospitals and 185 clinics. The information covers a 40-year span, and because of its longitudinal nature with more than two trillion unique medical data elements, it is particularly effective for medical studies and analyzing optimal treatments for a variety of health conditions.
Intermountain and Deloitte expect to engage other leading health systems that also have robust, standardized data in creating a community of medical researchers working with stakeholders across the health-care continuum. Andrew Vaz, Deloitte's chief innovation officer said, "We hope to accelerate the development of what the Institute of Medicine refers to as a 'learning health-care system.' By bringing data-driven insights to organizations managing care and developing the therapies of tomorrow, we hope to ignite innovation and promote quality, safety and value in health care."
Among the other potential benefits, the alliance and ensuing consortium could provide insights into which treatments work for certain patient populations. Insights could be gleaned and studies performed in a fraction of the time required by conventional approaches, thus bringing the appropriate care to the right patient more quickly.
The alliance is noteworthy in that it joins the nation's largest health-care consultancy with a pioneering U.S. health system. Deloitte's life sciences and healthcare practice encompasses 3,700 professionals and serves nine of the 10 largest health care systems, most of the 15 largest pharmaceutical manufacturers as ranked by Med Ad News, most of the top 10 medical device companies (ranked by Medical Product Outsourcing) and nine of the 10 largest biotechnology companies (Med Ad News ranking).
"In addition to Deloitte's capabilities, our organizations share a commitment to the mission of transforming health care," said Bert Zimmerli, chief financial officer of Intermountain Healthcare. "Together we will leverage our decades of experience and work to revolutionize the way medical insights are discovered and used to improve care."
Deloitte brings a deep repertoire of skills and resources in health strategy and operations, including informatics services that help unearth the value embedded within vast layers of data. Among its contributions to the alliance will be "data visualization software" that helps clients decipher patterns out of data.
In collaborating with Deloitte, Intermountain will draw upon its renowned Homer Warner Center for Informatics Research, which includes more than 70 health IT professionals working on data analytics to support evidence-based clinical decision making.