Hardly a week passes without a health care discussion, from collecting and protecting personal information to the emergence of population health intelligence practitioners. Recent Wall Street Journal (WSJ) articles zeroed in on a very real issue: access to medical records and healthcare data is only part of the picture needed to accurately predict patients at risk.
For hospitals in particular, knowing more about their patients can help them better predict and manage outcomes, especially with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. But while access to data is expanding constantly; determining actionable steps from data can be a hospital’s Achilles’ heel.
Writing in WSJ’s Sept. 26, 2016, Journal Report-Innovations in Health Care, reporter Melanie Evans points out that under pressure from employers and insurers to prevent illness, not merely treat it, doctors and hospitals are “creating ever more complex algorithms to forecast their patients’ medical future. And they’re searching for new kinds of data to make those predictions as accurate as possible, mining behavioral, consumer and financial data for potential clues.”
Some hospitals are gathering healthcare data sets directly from patients while others are obtaining consumer, financial, housing density, unemployment and other data from third parties and federal agencies, the article continues, all in an effort to:
- Improve patient experience (including quality and satisfaction)
- Improve population health (better outcomes, precision medicine)
- Reduce per capita health care costs
These goals form the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim initiative, a systematic approach to deriving greater value for the resources devoted to health care and a driver for the movement towards value-based care. The linchpin of value-based initiatives is data—specifically, the ability to gather, integrate and analyze millions of records to measure outcomes. And therein lies the biggest challenge.
To succeed, the Triple Aim and similar initiatives must be able to capture and effectively use data from multiple disparate sources, in variable formats and with differing standards. Responding to this need for interoperability, Liaison developed the ALLOY Health™ Platform, a Data Platform as a Service (dPaaS) cloud-based solution that enables hospitals, health systems and life sciences organizations to access, aggregate and integrate data from internal and external sources. This data-centric approach gives these entities the ability to create more robust patient and population profiles, for more robust healthcare data analytics.
“Knowing more about how people live—from their interests to their income—could prove useful as doctors look for clues to poor health and tailor interventions to address patients’ needs, potentially preventing illness and saving money,” the Sept. 26 WSJ article continues.
Data is a high-value asset that can be used to improve care, raise quality and lower costs. To learn more about how a data-centric model allows flexibility, now and in the future, for enabling actionable decisions, and supports value-based care across healthcare and life sciences initiatives, register to attend the upcoming “Data-Inspired Integration and Data Management as One” webinar, which begins at 2 PM Eastern time on October 26, 2016.
By Danielle Siniscalchi, Liaison Technologies Sr. Director, Registry Solutions