In today's world, Healthcare relies on digital channels more than ever before. From delivering care to regular communications, most patient engagements now occur online. That's why it's crucial to have a clear picture of how patients interact with your website or product.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google's web analytics platform. But it’s limited in ways that make it more of an ailment than a cure for Healthcare teams.
Now available on-demand: Data-Driven Healthcare
Discover the most significant issues GA4 poses for Healthcare teams in an informative session hosted by Aaron Brox, Sr. Solutions Engineer at Heap.
The wrong prescription to treat compliance
For Healthcare, security and compliance are major concerns. To remain HIPAA compliant, an analytics solution needs to protect patient data. GA4 lacks the necessary safeguards to meet Healthcare's security and privacy needs.
To start, GA4 relies heavily on manual tagging. Manual tagging opens up many opportunities for human error. Without proper configuration and tracking, you might capture the wrong data. If that data contains personally identifiable information, it's a major issue for compliance.
On top of that, GA4 does not provide granular control over data access or retention policies. Without the right access controls and permissions, unauthorized individuals could access sensitive information. If you consider the danger of PII, this becomes an even bigger threat.
To mitigate security concerns, Healthcare teams need a more advanced platform than GA4. The right solution for Healthcare needs to have robust security configurations. Features like data encryption and auditing further reduce the risk of data breaches. Beyond that, a solution with automated data capture prevents PII from being captured.
Compliance is not a one-time checkmark. It's an ongoing process that requires constant monitoring. Healthcare teams must consider all potential risks when selecting an analytics solution.
Limitations create unreliable diagnostics
While GA4 does bring some needed improvements to Google Analytics, it’s still centered on BI-driven web traffic analysis. While it offers some high-level insights out of the box, these are often bare-bones reports. If you want to go beyond basic web traffic analysis, you'll need to send your data downstream, where an SQL expert can build custom reports for you in a platform like BigQuery.
The issue is, Healthcare companies often have limited resources for data analysis. If GA4 had visual labeling or event exploration it would be easier to jump into queries. Without self-serve analytics, GA4 can increase costs and delays. A better solution allows anyone to get insights, regardless of technical expertise.
As mentioned, GA4 is also a standard manual tagging platform. You have to rely on engineering teams to change and manage any events or user attributes. These requirements make behavioral tracking time-consuming, slow, messy, and incomplete. It also makes data unreliable.
Alternatives with a better prognosis
Given GA4's limitations, Healthcare companies should consider options better suited to their needs. Heap offers a number of advantages over GA4, including:
Enhanced data security through customizable configurations, data encryption, and PII protections
Automated event tracking that mitigates the issues of manual tagging
An event visualizer that makes it easy to explore your data and understand trends
Integrations with popular healthcare marketing and CRM platforms like Salesforce and Marketo
Powerful data science that surfaces overlooked insights and optimization opportunities
With a platform like Heap, Healthcare teams get speed to insight with peace of mind.
GA4 vs. Heap for Healthcare
Get a full breakdown of how GA4 stacks up against Heap in our quick comparison guide.
Healthcare teams need to be agile and responsive to changing patient needs. From limited security controls to unsophisticated insights, GA4 creates more barriers than solutions.
If you belong to a Healthcare org that is considering GA4, make sure you understand how every potential risk could impact your business.