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With All This Healthcare Data, Why Do We Know So Little?

April 30, 2014 | By Jennifer Russo

The complexity of the healthcare industry makes it difficult to gain meaningful insights and data. However gathering the right data will help b-to-b marketers understand the market and make better investments.

With all the data available in the healthcare industry, you’d think we’d be geniuses by now.  However, the complexity of the industry also makes it difficult to gain meaningful insights from all this data.

For example, consider the following:

  • We know approximately how many Americans have enrolled in the new insurance exchanges operated by the federal and state governments (8 million-plus), but we won’t know (for a while, at least) the profile of the people who have enrolled, or the overall impact the exchanges have had on the rate of uninsured people in the United States.
  • We may know that a given patient has a family history of heart disease and was last seen in the physician’s office on February 27, at which time his blood pressure was 140/90. But if the data systems at the doctor’s office and at the hospital aren’t synched, we might not know if he’s been admitted to the hospital after a heart attack.
It’s a similar story with healthcare marketing:
  • We may know that our last email campaign had an open rate of 17 percent and a clickthrough rate of 0.7 percent. But we still might not know if we’re spending the right amount of our budget on marketing communications.
  • We might know that our sales team partners face complex, intricate conversations, but we might not know how long our sales cycle is – and what we in marketing can do to shorten it.
Like the entire healthcare industry, we marketers need to get better at harnessing our data – not just so we can sound smarter to the C-suite and prove our campaign ROIs, but also so we can make the right decisions about where to invest our resources, and understand how to drive the organizations we serve to exponential growth.

Jennifer Russo

Jennifer is director of the healthcare segment at SiriusDecisions. She is a product and marketing leader with a background in health information technology, payers (health plans and pharmacy benefits), and strategic selling into bio/pharma. Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @Jrusso346.

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