How Will HCA Healthcare & Google Partnership Improve Next Generation Healthcare?

HCA Healthcare recently announced a new multiyear strategic partnership with Google Cloud focused on analytics-driven process improvement and digital transformation. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Why It Matters

The partnership between the cloud giant and Nashville-based HCA, with its 186 hospitals and 2,000 ambulatory sites nationwide, is aimed at building “next generation operational models focused on actionable insights and improved workflows,” according to health system officials. The goal is to build and refine new workflows and innovate clinical decision support to improve quality, safety and efficiency. Beyond that, the partnership is meant to empower physicians and nurses with deeper insights – via 90,000 mobile devices already running software from HCA’s PatientKeeper and Mobile Heartbeat teams – with analytics and alerts that can keep them apprised of changes in a patients’ condition.

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Google Cloud and HCA will also seek new data-driven refinements to human resources, physical plant, supply chain and other financial and operational areas, they say.
Privacy and security will also be prioritized, HCA officials say, as the health system draws on patient data – it has 32 million annual encounters – to help improve support for its 140,000 nurses and physicians. The deal will leverage Google Cloud Healthcare API and BigQuery, its database with full support for HL7v2 and FHIRv4 data standards.

The Larger Trend

HCA has been putting muscle behind its data and analytics efforts recently. Earlier this year, it announced the formation of a new data consortium with AHRQ enabling other health systems and health plans, such as Johns Hopkins, Duke, Harvard Pilgrim and others to gain access to HCA’s data registry in order to improve COVID-19 and public health research and help boost patient outcomes.

Researchers are looking at retrospective studies to assess the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 treatments, looking at why certain clinical outcomes occur, and developing new predictive models. The goal is to enable new clinical trials going forward. Meanwhile, Google Cloud has continued to innovate its AI-powered analytics work, as in the two new tools it unveiled six months ago to help healthcare and life science organizations analyze volumes of unstructured text: Healthcare Natural Language API and AutoML Entity Extraction for Healthcare.

“Next-generation care demands data science-informed decision support so we can more sharply focus on safe, efficient and effective patient care,” said HCA Healthcare CEO Sam Hazen in a statement. “We view partnerships with leading organizations, like Google Cloud, that share our passion for innovation and continual improvement, as foundational to our efforts.”

“The cloud can be an accelerant for innovation in health, particularly in driving data interoperability, which is critical in streamlining operations and providing better quality of care to improve patient outcomes,” added Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian.

“We are honored to partner with HCA Healthcare on this unique opportunity to be at the forefront of advancing care through the power of real-time data availability to support clinical and operational workflows.”

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