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What will it take to make data personal? | Healthcare IT News

Blog: What will it take to make data personal?

As talks continue about big data and how to aggregate and share it electronically, we need to keep our ultimate goal in sight – giving providers the information required to better manage the health of the individual patient, in real time at the point of care. So, as the data tsunami continues with states well underway with HIE development and more ACOs coming online, we still have to bring it back to the patient and ask – what will it take to make the millions of gigs of information out there make a real difference to the guy in the hospital gown? Or, to the grandmother rehabilitating from hip surgery at home?

Fortunately, the government’s investment in health information technology sharing has resulted in faster adaptation of EHRs and information sharing. Still, many clinicians don’t have convenient access to usable data for a specific patient encounter at the point of care. And this can only happen when all of this big data coming into the HIE and ACOs can be accessed and is usable by all users and in all settings.

Now developers and providers are finding themselves at the place of actually aggregating and sharing big data electronically and getting closer to the ultimate goal of giving providers the information required to better manage the health of individual patients, in real time and at the point of care. For some, this must feel like the moment of truth. Still, there are a number of barriers and rivers to be crossed before we can actually make this data personal or work for the patient and the clinician. And over the last four years, many of us have experienced many challenges on the road to HIT nirvana.

So, what will it take to get to the HITECH end-goal where we use technology to make healthcare safer, more efficient, effective and, of course, patient-centric?

If I were a betting man, I would say another requirement.

In time, it certainly appears that the government will require integration of all care providers across the spectrum to not only report, but to improve patient outcomes at the point of care. This of course, will require documentation by all users and all settings to be interoperable and connected. There are a number of steps that EHR developers and providers need to consider and take to get to move closer to providing patient-centric care.

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