The future of patient data: 3 pillars for the implementation of successful analysis

Wearables and smartphone applications have grown in popularity in recent years. More patients are self-monitoring their health parameters and taking this data to appointments. According to Gartner, global end-user spending on portable devices in 2021 will amount to $ 81.5 billion, 18.1% more than the $ 69 billion in 2020.

Today, healthcare consumers are more empowered with the health data available through healthcare information tools and devices. Informed patients track all aspects of their care from many sources, such as personal gadgets, health apps, and consultations from various specialties and diagnostic centers.

The influx of data from many open source and API technologies is changing the way patients prepare for outpatient consultations. They expect health care at home, armed with data from their devices and Google research.

On the other hand, data are abundant for health systems and physicians, from multiple sources: patient care applications, personal and medical equipment, hospital administration, operations, supply chain, logistics, referrals, and healthcare management. human resources.

These data can solve real-life problems in daily workflows, such as getting appointments for available places, getting dietary patterns for chronically ill patients, supply chain logistics for personal protective equipment ( PPE), drug inventories, routine patient lists. laboratory tests and identification of gaps in compliance with regulations.

The list is long. Developers of EHR markets such as Epic Orchard, Allscripts Applications Store, and athenahealth marketplace testify to the growing number of applications that are released regularly for different workflows among users of administrative, clinical, patient, and backend infrastructure.

Healthcare systems have obtained data from a variety of sources, thanks to technological disruptions and open FHIR APIs over the past decade. Orchestrating all the data remains a challenge. From a technical standpoint, key components include integrating data from multiple sources, hosting in data centers aligned with specific business processes, and the flexibility to scale as needed.

This is analogous to stacking identical items on separate shelves in a grocery store for convenient consumption. After gathering the data, you can provide useful information to business partners. What are the technical criteria that will allow health data to benefit both consumers and healthcare systems? How has healthcare technology changed in the last 10 years? Here is my prediction of what will happen to patient data and access in 2022.

Business digital transformation: 3 pillars for success

During the pandemic, large health systems quickly adapted and managed various operational and care workflows. Data was saved, standardized, and analyzed from multiple sources. They gathered data from disparate sources and created supply chain workflows to deliver PPE kits, maintain medical inventories, track patients in need of COVID-19 testing, improve virtual and telehealth platforms to care for routine visits and installing remote devices to coordinate care for the elderly and vulnerable patient care.

The data became the source from which large organizations relied to gather all the pieces of the puzzle in a cloud infrastructure.

In the era of COVID-19, health systems recognize that the existing data infrastructure is inadequate to meet the different needs of various stakeholders. Large volumes of data require three things to be useful: a place to live (cloud hosting), the ability to exchange them (interoperability), and an understanding of semantics or language (terminology standards).

Health cloud. Business digital transformation has long used the power of the cloud, making partial migrations of its technology infrastructures to the cloud. Today, most healthcare systems are in a hybrid model, with some applications in the cloud and some on-premises.

Large technology companies such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Salesforce provide the infrastructure that includes ingesting data in multiple formats, transforming data into standard healthcare formats, storing it, and finally sharing it between users in FHIR format.

A health cloud is a unified repository of data between healthcare systems and environments. It enables healthcare organizations to rapidly develop scalable applications that unleash the power of data to improve clinical, operational, and financial outcomes.

Interoperability. Health data formats, such as text, graphics, digital, paper, digital, photos, videos, multimedia, radiological imaging, ECG waveforms, and more, make it even more complicated. Raw healthcare data can come in a variety of formats, including flat files, extensible markup language (XML), JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), database extracts, and standards-based documents such as Health Level Seven (HL7). ), CDA or X12.

A cloud platform must analyze, encode, and store data within a unified data model with standard ontologies. Only then can it be leveraged for subsequent applications to support patients and their providers at every step of the journey. Normalizing this data and running intelligent algorithms on it can provide valuable information on all functions.

Standard terminology. This means that different systems speak the same language as part of the standardized ontology exercise. The United States Interoperability Basic Data (USCDI) recommended data classes for clinical and administrative data define the recommended terminology standards for interoperability.

Recently, the USCDI modified the second iteration of data standards to cover the socioeconomic determinants of health, sexual orientation, and gender identity. They are becoming an essential source of data for tracking and creating health equity.

Healthcare data platforms, for example, provide information about a patient’s nutritious food availability or help physicians understand the characteristics of how a patient lives and how this may affect their overall well-being.

The above three areas, once addressed, can meet many subsequent use cases. Administrative leaders can identify supply shortages by knowing the consumption of their respective clinical departments. With the power of a single dashboard, data from linked devices can reveal gaps in attention and help launch outreach activities for vulnerable populations.

A 360-degree perspective of an individual patient or group of patients can determine quality indicators for regulatory needs. FHIR-based API interfaces also help application developers quickly deploy easy-to-use mobile applications that can easily link to electronic medical records and provide critical information to patients and physicians.

The road ahead

More than any other industry, the 5V of big data applies to healthcare: the volume of health data collected over time, the speed with which data is collected in real time with healthcare devices, the variety of structured and unstructured data, the accuracy of missing and inaccurate drug histories, and the value of the combined data can increase the business information obtained.

All this big data deployed in a cloud infrastructure takes us to the world of healthcare clouds, which is now at the forefront of healthcare technology as the next level of evolution.

Once healthcare organizations understand the power of a unified data platform, the steps toward improving patient outcomes and reducing costs become more apparent. Key performance metrics and health cloud reporting can provide transparency in care and automate processes to reduce response time and staff effort in tracking healthcare gaps, recovering codes, and avoid unnecessary use.

Many players together can orchestrate a patient-centered ecosystem, including their healthcare providers, payers, and policy makers. The digitization of health data is now at the heart of the adoption of the three major technology pillars: standardizing data using standard terminology, facilitating interoperability with FHIR standards, and finally hosting it in the cloud infrastructure.

Dr. Joyoti Goswami is a senior consultant at Damo Consulting.

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