Mon, 09/24/2018

Interoperability in healthcare was the focus this week both from HIMSS and on Capitol Hill. In both cases, missing was the clarion call for healthcare organizations to take charge of their data with an enterprise approach to data management.

First up, Healthcare IT News sat down with HIMSS Chief Technology and Innovation Officer Steve Wretling to discuss interoperability. Wretling focused on the need for an architecture to drive interoperability beyond the use of APIs, which has increased in the last several years. He emphasized, “We’re in a data revolution time period where digital information and technology is opening many avenues to innovation on data that have not been there before."

So, let's examine the outburst of data over the last several years with more to come:

  • Electronic health records have exploded since Meaningful Use Incentive Program was launched with the passage of ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) in 2009
  • Changing payment models push providers to take on risk. This makes the harmonization of financial, clinical, and claims data more critical than ever before
  • Alternative care delivery and interactions like telehealth and care management programs mean more patient touches
  • Social determinant data is another burgeoning source that must be on-boarded and harmonized with other data to have value
  • We are very early in the use of patient generated and machine generated data. Both these voluminous sources will grow in importance in the years to come as healthcare looks to leverage predictive and AI capabilities

Our second story comes from testimony on Capitol Hill before the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. The focus was on the interoperability barrier for more aggressive adoption of value based payment models. There were specific points made about further defining data exchange standards and the need for a national patient ID to smooth the process. All valid points, but in my experience, healthcare organizations are relying on their EHR vendor to define and support a data strategy; at best tackling data needs in (you guessed it) another silo.

It's typical to see a data project around population health or care management, but few organizations are stepping back, defining an enterprise data strategy across all needs and supporting that strategy with stakeholder support and an enterprise data management platform separate from the EHR.

Two organizations that have made that commitment are the Cleveland Clinic and St. Luke's University Health Network.

Chris Donovan, Executive Director Enterprise Analytics, Cleveland Clinic, delivered the keynote at a MD HIMSS event this week where he touched on how analytics innovation is transforming healthcare. I loved his quote that strategic use of data not only supports key strategies of the network, but is in itself a key strategy. This is similar to the story NY HIMSS heard from St. Luke’s Amanda Mazza and Dan Foltz in a presentation they gave last month that focused on leveraging data to create value in healthcare.

In both cases the analytics team reported to the CFO to maximize the business value that a strategic use of data can drive. The St. Luke's project, originally championed by their CEO, is a little further along that Cleveland Clinic (36 months vs 18 months) and has seen them on-board and harmonize over 50 data sources and drive out over 90 analytical applications to the business allowing them to aggressively leverage data and tackle programs like value based care. 

You can learn more about how St. Luke's has leveraged Omni-HealthData as an enterprise architecture and data management platform to achieve these results with a surprisingly small data management team. For healthcare organizations that don’t want to wait for interoperability to get figured out or for their EHR vendor to pick up data management skills Omni-HealthData is platform ideal to support your strategic data needs. Read more on our website.