Predictive Analytics: Transformational Change for Radiation Oncology


Healthcare Systems are facing significant challenges to meet their commitments to patients, providers, payers, and government regulators. Healthcare executives continue to face challenges delivering quality and access to services in a market of continued decreased reimbursement. While healthcare services are expected to grow as a result of the #ACA, the demand to meet the service needs has to take in consideration future earning growth.

Organizations that have see exponential growth in patient volume; reimbursement has not been able to keep pace amongst the rising costs to deliver healthcare services. With the presidential election just 17 months away and the current #KingvBurrell case being decided by the Supreme Court, the potential of these changes being disruptive could pose even greater pressure on the economy of healthcare.

In response, many healthcare systems are deploying advance analytical technologies to extract data to provide a greater predictability of growth, greater value from their resources (staffing/technology/facilities), and a depiction of their overall cost to deliver care. The problem is that the majority of health systems have been slow in comparison to other industries such as airlines, hotels, utilities, and financial institutions in adopting predictive analytical technologies. In order to transform, health systems must be prepared to accept that deriving value from these new analytical capabilities requires rudimentary changes to their current business and operating practices.

Many of these changes can only be achieved by deriving critical insights from the voluminous data being captured amongst the numerous disparate information systems within a health system. When considering the potential value of this data, using advanced analytics to help drive these operational changes has become a critical imperative for most healthcare executives.

This paper provides insights and examples of how oncology executives can use advanced analytics to transform operating practices to achieve better efficiency and utilization of staffing and technology resources to drive better patient satisfaction and transparency in cost of care.

Imagine a world where an oncology executive has the ability to know exactly where the ‘road blocks’ were in the daily care delivery cycle. Imagine being able to know how much time to the minute, it actually takes each staff resource to deliver an entire course of care (referral to treatment completion) for a patient according the various treatment care paths your center delivers. Imagine the benefit of knowing what an additional staff member would do to the bottom financial line as well how it impacts patient wait times. Contemplating a merger, adding or removing technology within your center, determine the demand it will place on staffing, how it will impact overall departmental expenses, and will it provide a possible increase or decrease in patient satisfaction. For the crème de la crème, imagine being able to know cost of care delivery for every patient care pathway within your department, in return providing a True Transparency in Cost of Care Delivery.

Would you believe that there is such a solution available today? To my personal knowledge and intense Google searching, I was able to find one provider that offers such a solution. @VarianMedSys is offering a consulting based service that utilizes a #descriptiveanalytics tool that provides the necessary #predictiveanalytics data to move operational and clinical care toward #transformational change. I believe thisservice offering differs from others due to the #prescriptiveanalytics derived through scenario based modeling designed specifically for Radiation Therapy, in a vendor agnostic environment. By conducting this modeling in a virtual environment the intent is to help mitigate risks of clinical or technological implementation and the unknown or unintended consequences that are associated with strategic business planning.

The intent here is not to promote any individual company, but more so highlighting the differential tools and resources available today, in order to deliver exceptional patient care and a financially viable service line for the future. If you are aware of other analytical tools to support oncology, please message me with that information as I am always looking for technology solutions for those that I engage with.

In conclusion, the utilization of analytics is one of the most important ways for oncology executives to achieve new results within the strategic planning model and patient care improvement process. This change will require a cultural shift from past ways of thinking within the organization to an information driven planning model using data-driven decision making to achieve the results needed to survive in a fee-for-value healthcare environment. In order to achieve this success and analytical data to be of value, it should be utilized as integral part of the daily clinical and business operations, not just as annual report for review.

As always, I appreciate your feedback and can be reached at and can be followed on Twitter @uscaspecialist

Best Regards,