By Naveen Sarabu, Director, Product Management and Strategy, Liaison Healthcare Informatics
Liaison’s team was in sunny Orlando, Fla. for eHealth Initiative’s 2013 Annual Conference- Leading IT Forward where “Big Data” was the term I heard most often in the many panel discussions on data exchange and analytics. One keynote speaker even challenged his audience by asking if all the talk about “Big Data” was a trend, hype or just a fad. My response: it’s a trend. If we’re going to perform analytics that lead to better clinical outcomes and reduce costs, then we have to consider all streams of available data in the process—and that’s Big Data. But successfully integrating and aggregating claims data and clinical data continues to be one of the most fascinating challenges in providing quality analytics. Right now, we’re still in the embryonic/infancy stage of dealing with these two disparate data pools. Yet with advances in technology, it’s possible to integrate both. So what’s the underlying reason for why we’re not further along? Is it because the pools are so diverse and complex, or because they reside in different silos/organizations that don’t want to share? My analysis is we haven’t seen this combination—so far, anyway—because the adoption of clinical IT systems like EHRs has been slow. But with meaningful use incentives, adoption is accelerating and most organizations are now at the cusp of leveraging the data they are collecting. What do you all think?