By Nicholas Mattina
The health information management department in the School of Health Professions and Nursing is making a big change. During the fall 2018 semester, the department is introducing the use of the data analytics program SAS (statistical analytics system). The shift will be lead by professor Rachel Cloward, the director of health information management.
SAS is a software developed for advanced analytics and data management used by many different fields, including health information. With this software, the department will be able to record and look up information that can help any health facility. Some information includes treatments for injuries or possible cures for diseases.
The software is free and has the ability to make a large impact in the field. Health information management students can also download this software and contribute to the system. Cloward is prepared to teach SAS to her students.
“We have created these giant databases of health data. There are people that are
going through the data to see if there is any- thing we can learn,” Cloward said. “Like how people were treated for certain diseases or what hospitals have the best way to treat people with heart failure is by using data analytics.”
Cloward is an assistant professor of health sciences and teaches online health
information management courses. After receiving her degree in biology, she decided against going to medical school and instead took graduate classes at LIU Brooklyn to receive her master’s degree in business administration and in science. She is also a registered health information administrator. After graduate school, Cloward spent most of her time as an information technician (IT), and combined her love of science and technology when she became the director of health information management at LIU Post.
She is working to set up online courses for students to learn SAS. The students will learn how to discern the different graphs and charts within the database and determine, among other things, how to improve treatments and outcomes with certain diseases.
The software can also show students how to improve reimbursement for a hospital. Cloward stated that “You have to code a certain way and treat patients a certain way. The more efficient you are and the better outcomes you get for your patients, the more imbursement you will get from the government,” she said. The government reimburses more than 50 percent of healthcare in the United States, according to Cloward.
Cloward is excited for the change into SAS. She believes that this database will help create many jobs not only in the health information management field, but also in the field of IT.
“This will not only affect this community, but instead, affect the nation,” Cloward said.