Think about how Amazon uses the information it collects about you to suggest your next purchase. This is the way we need to be thinking about healthcare data. How can this data drive better results for patients and the bottom line? Outcomes must become more important and valued than dashboards, and data must be consumable for physicians, administrators, and other decision makers, with elements that are relevant to their roles.
Cracking the nut of interoperability
We’re at an all-time high in collaboration between payers and providers, above and beyond accountable care organizations (ACOs). But progression in this area will be stalled until we can enable seamless information sharing between systems. Major investments are being made in digitization of health records with a common API.
The starting point of interoperability is rigorous master data management and data governance. The member-to-patient identification problem will multiply as more providers get involved. Privacy and security need to be addressed strategically to ensure authorization for the right roles. And testing should never be forgotten.
The national Health IT Certification program of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology—ONC HIT certification—is part of the solution and continues to conduct pilot programs. At HIMSS17, the ONC offered timely advice for negotiating healthcare IT electronic health record (EHR) contracts based on security, system performance, data rights, interoperability, IP sharing issues, risk and liability, dispute resolution, and transition issues.
Machine intelligence hype
There was plenty of talk about machine learning, cognitive computing, and artificial intelligence at HIMSS 17. Current solutions are mostly smoke and mirrors, squarely in the beta stage, but the future is bright.