How can an Integrated Healthcare Data Platform Power Population Health Management?
Abhinav Shashank
Wed 28 Feb 2018
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Healthcare is one of the largest sectors in the U.S. and has evolved in many ways, with healthcare data rising to become its deep-rooted member. With the quickly evolving technologies, this data will not be constrained by the boundaries of merely clinical and claims data. Even today, despite the evolved technical proficiency, the healthcare organizations are struggling against data irregularities, missing data, legacy systems, and whatnot. Imagine the chaos when these data boundaries will be broken in the future!

Roadblocks to a Unified Integrated Data Platform

Healthcare providers have made remarkable investments in EHRs that comply with the regulatory guidelines in an attempt to gather complete information. Still, healthcare organizations have a long way to go when it comes to bringing vast and varied systems to generate values together. Diving deep into the situation, we find many questions that healthcare organizations encounter:

Why is my data fragmented and inconsistent? Has this problem multiplied with multiple EHRs?

Data coming from multiple sources like EHRs and flat files is the most prominent challenge currently. These sources have their distinct formats and data schema which increase data fragmentation across the network instead of providing a single integrated record.

Why is the modification of my EHR data feed structures such a complicated task?

Many EHRs follow a “black-box” approach in which entire process of collecting data and its storage takes place on the inside, and the end user is completely unaware of these processes. During a resource-intensive demand, this model turns the changing of the interface during the modification of EHR data feed structures a tedious task.

Is my system capable enough to handle such massive amount of data? Can my system exchange data on varied protocols?

In healthcare, we deal with a considerable number of legacy systems which prove to be ineffective while coping with the explosive amount of data. Since multiple EHRs use different protocols, data transfer to other stakeholders in the network is a major issue. The newly-developed systems might be able to advance interoperability, but the lack of universal standard in the legacy systems hinder the path for proper data exchange.

Advancing with an Integrated Approach

Overcoming these challenges and answering these questions is the first step to bringing a revolution in healthcare. To solve the challenge of overflowing data and little insights, we need to modify our approach to integrating- expanding our focus to integrating the teams, concepts, and the technologies. The data integration platform must allow the integration of structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data, all stored on a unified platform. With a one-stop store for all integrated healthcare records, providers can leverage them to power a number of their activities.

One such platform is InData– Innovaccer’s healthcare data platform that deploys a Hadoop-based big data framework. With pre-built connectors to over 200 widely used healthcare data systems, InData allows the integration of multiple disparate data sources including EHRs, CCDA documents, HL7 feeds, and many more. Patient data is distributed across the continuum in this transitioning healthcare, and bringing it all together regardless of their format is a priority today.

Even after the integration of the patient data, healthcare organizations have issues maintaining uniformity across hundreds of records. Each patient record has to be assigned an individual identifier via a master patient index, distinguishing between even the slightest of an anomaly. The data records have to be checked rigorously to ensure that there are no broken transformations or inaccurate mappings in the longitudinal, 360-degree patient records.

The healthcare data integration platform must allow a proper means to exchange data as well. Care teams should be able to extract and access updated information from the EHRs in the desired format with supported protocol and data standards such as TCP/IP, SFTP, FTP, FHIR, and a lot more. All in all, a platform that empowers integration has to be a source-agnostic platform, making it easier to achieve interoperability across disparate systems.

Delivering Value-Based Care with a Unified Integrated Platform

Data is only the key. Integrated data, coupled with advanced analytics, is required to extract value out of raw data and transform it for providers to drive their strategic operations. With data-driven insights, providers can build customized care programs to address specific clinical and social needs of the population. Since the information will be processed in real time, healthcare providers can even track the network performance, monitoring every leakage and clinical performance.

Comparison and analysis of the performance of different healthcare facilities too can assist providers gain a comprehensive understanding of how the network is faring. The providers should be able to gain a high-level understanding of the network with claims data, and a drilled-down, deeper understanding of clinical data. Not only could the providers identify the gaps in care or the coding gaps through smart analytics, but it also allows the healthcare leaders to understand the underlying patterns in the network.

The Road Ahead

Integration is not just the process of assimilating data, but bringing together the care teams in the network on a singular platform. Data integration is, undoubtedly, the most daunting task which is to be faced by nearly every member in healthcare. Today, data in healthcare is quite rumpled and disconnected, and the lack of comprehensive planning and strategic management is slowly leading to a number of inefficiencies. The more we drive into the future of data-driven healthcare, the more it becomes necessary to organize our efforts towards achieving the aim of a unified, integrated platform promoting true interoperability to provide absolute care to the patients- realizing the original objective of the healthcare.


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Tags: Healthcare, Integration
Abhinav Shashank
How can an Integrated Healthcare Data Platform Power Population Health Management?
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