The big data revolution is in full swing, with enormous implications for the healthcare and life sciences industries. Data is flowing in from multiple sources — digital patient records, claims and payment information, R&D databases and data from manufacturers, hospital systems, providers and more. Meanwhile, new sources of information are coming online, including drug sentiment data from social media and personal health and wellness data from devices like wearable technologies as the Internet of Things picks up steam.
Many organizations are understandably focused on the struggle to capture, integrate, store and manage this influx of data — that struggle is real. But it’s important for healthcare and life sciences leaders not to lose sight of the massive opportunity the influx of data represents. Data is essential to achieve what the Institute for Healthcare Improvement identified as the Triple Aim of a high-performance healthcare organization:
- Improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction);
- Improving the health of populations; and
- Reducing the per capita cost of health care.
Each of these goals requires the ability to capture and effectively use not only clinical data but financial and operational data as well. Only in this way can healthcare organizations achieve the baseline levels of performance improvement, such as avoiding penalties and improving quality scoring to meet regulatory and reporting requirements, and move beyond that toward a data-inspired future.
In a newly collaborative environment that now encourages rather than forbids health systems and life sciences organizations to work together, it’s more important than ever to be able to take in data from multiple sources and with variable standards and generate new insights. But where to begin?
First, hospitals, health systems, pharmaceutical and biotech organizations must understand what is changing in the health and patient data landscape, how to address those changes and how to seize related opportunities. To succeed in the years ahead, they’ll need to know how new regulatory mandates will affect data integration, connectivity and collaboration. And they’ll have to understand how to overcome interoperability roadblocks and barriers.
At the same time, healthcare and life sciences leaders must look for ways to break down data silos and expand research, reduce costs and improve outcomes. Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) must seek new ways to effectively integrate and manage data to address reporting challenges. There are use cases today that demonstrate how creating a unified data layer can help organizations not only meet ACO reporting challenges but enable groundbreaking research, population health analysis and much more.
For example, one major healthcare system affiliated with a top university decided to take a holistic, future-proof approach to creating their ACO, opting to overhaul the organization’s data integration and management platform rather than simply adding an application. By deploying Liaison’s Data Platform as a Service (dPaaS) cloud integration and management solution, called ALLOY™, the healthcare system was able to address near-term ACO needs and prepare for long-term data requirements.
The dPaaS model enabled the ACO to access a unified, integrated, cloud-based data repository for all patient and process data from across the ACO’s large network. Aggregating data from internal and external sources established a cloud-based persistent, application-agnostic data layer that affiliated hospitals, providers and network partners could access for data input, export and analysis. By taking a data-centric approach, the ACO gained the ability to:
- Input and integrate data from existing and new sources
- Integrate information to enable providers to get a clear, complete view of medical history
- Ensure access to real-time, clean, accurate data for every provider and every patient engagement
- Accurately track outcomes and meet ACO reporting requirements
- Establish a centralized database for research projects and population health analysis
- Maximize investment in legacy applications by enabling continuing use
In addition to enabling the ACO to meet today’s needs, this approach ensured that new applications can be connected simply and easily to fulfill future business requests or needs in the years to come. To learn more about how to build a data foundation that meets today’s needs while forming a foundation for the future, register to attend the upcoming “Data Inspired Integration: Healthcare and Life Sciences Convergence” webinar, which begins at 2 PM Eastern time on September 15, 2016.