Unstructured, incomplete clinical data is the enemy of value-based care and impedes population health initiatives. In a recent interview, John Lynn of Healthcare IT Today asked a panel of healthcare experts how the challenge of sharing health information across incompatible systems impacts the quality of data and ultimately, the quality of patient care.
The panelists included:
- Colin Banas, M.D., M.H.A., Chief Medical Officer, DrFirst
- Paul Grundy, M.D., M.P.H., Advisor, Grundy Consulting
- Sarah Richardson, CHCIO, Chief Information Officer, Tivity Health
Listen to the following conversation clips as the experts discuss the state of patient data today, how gaps in interoperability impact quality initiatives, and how the healthcare industry can solve lingering data fidelity issues between disparate systems and formats.
Where does healthcare stand when it comes to sharing information between systems?
“The fact that we still have fax machines in most clinics and hospitals speaks to the fact that there’s a long way to go,” said Dr. Banas, while acknowledging that some electronic health record (EHR) system vendors have made tremendous strides in streamlining the flow of data.
Are you importing clean data?
“It has to be clean data before you put it into a new system,” said Sarah Richardson, pointing out that while the healthcare industry has a wealth of information stored in different places, it needs to be structured and in a usable format so the right people can access it at the right time. “Otherwise, you are wasting your time and your money,” she said.
Is managing healthcare data more complicated than rocket science?
“I used to think that healthcare was like rocket science in terms of data,” said Dr. Grundy, “but I now conclude that it’s a lot more complicated. Rocket science is relatively easy when compared to managing the care for 100 people with diabetes, all with 100 different personalities and myriad medications.”
Do you have the right partner?
According to our panelists, the good news is that the solutions already exist. Technology based on artificial intelligence (AI) can deliver complete, clean data that supports the new focus on healthcare rather than sick care. As the industry shifts toward value-based care and scales up population health programs, it’s vital to bring together capable partners who can streamline the exchange of data between disparate systems and make that information usable by providers.