Understanding Healthcare’s Data Integration Challenges

Understanding Healthcare’s Data Integration Challenges

To achieve meaningful interoperability, now and in the future, healthcare organizations across the country are having to rethink the way they approach clinical data exchange.

Produced in partnership with HIMSS Media, this white paper features the perspectives of three healthcare executives:

  • Darrell Bilbrey | Vice President of Corporate Systems and Business Intelligence | Encompass Health
  • Jim Feen | Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Southcoast Health System
  • Kevin Olson | CIO | OU Medicine

Over the past decade, the healthcare industry has struggled with achieving meaningful interoperability. As highlighted in a 2017 Health Affairs study, the healthcare industry has been plagued by numerous obstacles related to data exchange, a situation slowing healthcare organizations’ abilities to trade key clinical information between different trading partners, including other providers and health information exchanges (HIEs). And what progress has been made, the study authors argue, has been in developing new technological solutions to help move data from place to place, but not on how to ensure that said data is in a form that clinical and business stakeholders can actually use.

With so much of healthcare integration now EHR-centered, hospitals are facing increasing challenges in
how to make data not only available, but also usable on both the hospital floor and in the accounting office. Such interoperability struggles are likely to continue. The quantity and complexity of patient data is growing and will continue to do so in the future. Health systems, and their information technology (IT) leaders, are tackling these patient data-exchange challenges in different ways. They are developing innovative strategies and solutions to better manage both the volume and the complexity of the patient information they need today, and will require in the years to come. The only constant, it would seem, is change.

A brave new world of data is emerging. And with it grows the possibility of exchanging data with different entities to improve patient engagement, provide information to enable accountable care organizations to thrive, and allow deeper data analytics to improve both clinical and business practices. But to leverage these new and promising capabilities based on secure data exchange, healthcare organizations will need to start planning now. 

To achieve meaningful interoperability, now and in the future, healthcare organizations across the
country are having to rethink the way they approach clinical data exchange.

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