How will Complex Healthcare Data Ever Add Value to Population Health?

Abhinav Shashank
Fri 02 Mar 2018
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Undoubtedly, the healthcare data is increasing at an unprecedented rate, but this change is diverse and complex. Healthcare providers, irrespective of their vast struggles and investments, are still not able to identify the true nature of their data. The first step in harnessing the true power of data requires us to think and firstly identify what we’re looking at- not the solutions but the questions first.

Why is data collection so important in healthcare? How do we leverage the mound of data to deliver more patient-centric care? What are the ways to generate the necessary information out of the vast data present?

But the most important question is:

Why is managing healthcare data still a mystery to solve?

EHRs were supposed to provide a platform for maintaining a consistent data record, but the reality is that the data is anything but consistent. With the reluctance of the providers to adopt a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, the primary aim of EHRs of providing standardization in the data capturing process is yet not realized. The existence of unstructured and structured data together is one reason why there is an improper aggregation and analysis of the data today.

These systems, sometimes, have badly designed clinical user interfaces. Most of the integration platforms integrate the clinical data into discrete chunks, providing separate individual tabs for multiple parameters like lab results, current health problems, and more. The lack of a user-friendly interaction of physicians with these systems prevents the proper documentation of clinical quality measures resulting in negative payment adjustments and monetary penalties.

Also, despite integrated records, most of the physicians struggle with the unavailability of information at the point-of-care. The present data platforms are designed just to help the physicians to carry out their reimbursement operations effectively, not to assist them in their clinical thought processes and workflows. They do not provide tracking of the quality-related activities in real time. While working on healthcare data, we are dealing with the amalgamation of individual data systems which are too complicated to get usable insights across the population and require much more sophisticated tools than any other sector.

Bringing healthcare data together with a more sophisticated approach

Data in healthcare requires a more holistic approach in terms of dealing with the problem of EHRs. The physicians require a solution to integrate every possible data into a single repository and essentially help in eliminating the ‘clinical static’ allowing them to focus on every individual patient. The ideal data platform needs to enhance the usability of the EHRs and integrate them to convert the potentially disorganized data into structured and usable data.

The ideal data platform must allow the integration of structured and unstructured data from multiple formats and sources. Such a platform allows a transparent, in-depth understanding of the resources and performance, and empower the physicians to avoid the counterproductive activities such as manual tasks, or substantial custom coding. The mapping of data across a properly integrated network facilitates the filtering of data allowing the physicians to focus on the information which is crucial to the patient’s care.

Innovaccer’s healthcare data platform, InData, provides such environment for integration of data in a unified Hadoop based repository. It can ingest data from multiple formats like CCDA, X12, HL7, CSV files, and a lot more. InData runs robust patient matching algorithms using EMPI generator and ensures complete data accuracy and consistency across all integrated records. Aiming to deliver patient-centric care across the continuum, InData’s Patient 360 empowers operations like data analytics or point-of-care notifications.

Empowering the healthcare with efficient data-driven insights

The point-of-care system must be optimally designed to prompt the physicians to track the quality measures and ensure their documentation correctly. The platform must help to streamline the clinical documentation processes and identify comorbidities, patient’s problems, or medications providing real-time feeds on patients. Innovaccer’s healthcare data platform provides a point-and-click interface to help physicians declutter raw data and gain immediate insights. It creates automated work queues for improving clinical documentation processes with the list of all miscoded or uncoded pieces of information.

Engaging the physicians timely and effectively is necessary for prompt identification of suboptimal care outcomes and high utilization costs. There should be a platform providing real-time tracking of quality related attributes and should integrate itself with the existing workflow of the physician. This would ensure proper documentation of clinical measures including quality, expenditures, and utilization, empowering the physicians to identify the underperforming areas. The best insights need to go beyond the EHRs to identify the patient usage patterns across the entire system providing a holistic picture of the patient on the physician’s screen in real time. Physicians’ time should be better spent looking after patients, and not hopping across multiple applications.

The Road Ahead

Healthcare data is only supposed to grow more complex in the future, and this massive data is of no use if not properly utilized.  Owing to its unique complexity, healthcare data cannot be handled with our traditional approach; instead, it requires a modern use of data analytics and agile platform to cope up with its ever-changing environment. By bringing right data to the right use, we can empower the physicians and other members of the healthcare to focus on a more patient-centric, value-based care. Only with the power of data, we can have the ability to alter the direction of progress when the environment of healthcare is in constant flux.


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Tags: Healthcare, Integration
Abhinav Shashank
How will Complex Healthcare Data Ever Add Value to Population Health?

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