Why Metadata Management Automation is Crucial to the Healthcare Industry

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Imagine you work in an industry that is unique among service industries. Nearly every decision regarding the provision of customer services can have catastrophic, even deadly, consequences for the customer.


The customers, understandably, expect the service providers to make the correct decision 100% of the time, and to provide the highest-quality services in a timely manner. And, of course, they expect their personal information to be secure from prying eyes at all times.


Add to that the fact that these service providers are typically scrutinized at a highly detailed level by government regulators. In some countries, the government may even be the sole service provider.


Welcome to the Healthcare Industry.


Healthcare and Data Management in 2020

All of the challenges described above, among others, are metadata problems in healthcare. Doctors need correct and complete information in order to make correct diagnoses. Nurses and other healthcare staff need timely, complete information to provide care for patients. The billing and finance departments need the right information in order to properly bill patients and insurers. Compliance departments must be able to find the right data when government regulators come around with audits on their minds.  Healthcare providers of all kinds are often required to provide data, properly cleansed of identifying patient information, for government agencies to compile national healthcare statistics.


On top of that, all healthcare data needs to be properly classified, controlled and protected. Healthcare data can be just as valuable to hackers as banking and credit card data.


Achieving these objectives requires a solid healthcare data management program—a set of consistent, understandable, and enforceable policies and procedures around the procurement, storage, use, and disposal of patient data.


Data Management Starts With Metadata Management

Like all data governance, healthcare data governance requires tight management and control of metadata—the information about every database, table, column, data warehouse cube, and report element for which the organization is responsible.


Good healthcare metadata management provides visibility into the different kinds of data that the organization has in its possession. This includes how and where the metadata is stored, how and where it is used and distributed, and how it is secured. With this knowledge, the healthcare facility management team can build and enforce the policies and procedures needed to implement an effective, high-performing healthcare data management program.


In addition, healthcare BI staff, compliance staff, and IT departments all need solid healthcare metadata management in order to do their jobs effectively.

Metadata Management Means Different Things to Different People
Understand all the different facets in our white paper, "The Many Faces of Metadata Management: From Data Catalogs to Data Governance to BI Operations."
Download the Whitepaper


Good Healthcare Metadata Management Requires the Right Tools

Given the size and complexity of the data environment in many healthcare organizations—even those of modest size—metadata management is not something that can be done simply on spreadsheets. There are too many data assets, too many interrelationships, and too much change in the environment. This affects the ability to discover all the metadata in healthcare manually, much less actively manage it.

  • Automated tools are necessary in order to create an effective metadata management system for healthcare. Metadata management automation provides the following benefits, among others:
  • Automated data discovery that enables BI teams to instantly find data throughout the entire BI environment 
  • Complete automated data lineage from across all BI systems, including reporting
  • Horizontal AND vertical lineage that drills down into the ETL and stored procedures
  • Continuous monitoring of the environment and automatic metadata refresh
  • Automated Business Glossary to provide one authoritative source for all business operations


An automated metadata management platform can accomplish all of this with little or no human intervention. It doesn’t require time-consuming, tedious, manual work on the part of the BI team. Not only does metadata management automation allow you to gain greater, audit-ready control over your data environment., but you can also free up the BI & analytics team so that they can focus on drawing insights from the metadata in healthcare instead of searching for it all day long.


Which is, after all, the reason you’re all there.


Healthcare Metadata Management During COVID-19

As healthcare takes center stage during the current COVID-19 outbreak, there is a huge surge of data. This is due to the massive increase in hospital visits and stays as well as other necessary healthcare procedures. To manage all of this pertinent information, the need for automated metadata management is even more essential. During the pandemic, companies need to make quick and smart decisions based on accurate data. The only way this can happen is with automated metadata management and not through manual processes. After an influx of COVID-19 in the area, one of our clients (a hospital in Connecticut) used Octopai three times more than their typical usage. 


Learn more about how Octopai’s automated metadata management platform can increase the efficiency and accuracy of your BI team’s work within the healthcare industry.


Updated August 2020

Overwhelmed with Data? Can't Find What You're Looking For (Especially Remotely!)?
Octopai's Cloud-Based Automated Metadata Management Platform is just what the doctor ordered.
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