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Does HealthCare Really Have a Grasp on Big Data? By – David Chou

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Author – David Chou, CIO Healthcare

I had the privilege of moderating a roundtable that consisted of CIO’s, CNIO’s and CMIO’s from various healthcare providers on the topic of Big Data.

Everyone was trying to find the magical solution and determine where they stand as an organization…

The common goals of utilizing big data from the group are

  • Utilize data to improve monitoring of patients
  • Utilize data to forecast the patient
  • Leverage data to manage the population and the citizens

Managing the health of the population is what every organization is trying to achieve which includes promoting wellness, active monitoring and keeping the cost of providing healthcare at a minimum. We do have a few foundational problems that are preventing the healthcare vertical from leveraging big data. The biggest challenge is governance of the data at the organizational level and the national level. The majority of the institutions are challenged with data governance and working diligently to resolve that organizationally by defining the data dictionary. There are a few organizations that are ahead and working towards predicative modeling.

When we looked at the bigger picture of interoperability we are still very far away nationally. Let’s reflect on how your organizations stand with interoperability within your city and state. Currently most organizations are not sharing data with each other unless they have a common EMR platform or the state has a good Health Information Exchange (HIE) set up. There was a common theme from the larger players in the state that the HIE is currently set up as a one-way communication feed where the HIE receives the data from various healthcare provider but nothing is communicated back. That was a frustration from some of the major players in the state of Utah, Louisiana, and Mississippi and the trust in the HIE is still fairly low.

While we did not come up with a easy button solution we did have a consensus that we are moving towards the right path by leveraging data so that the healthcare providers can actively monitor the patients and try to predict outcomes for a healthier population. The bigger picture of interoperability nationally is still a work in progress and what we do need is a definition of data standards to take this to the next level. We having been working on interoperability for quite some time starting with RHIO, REC, and now HIE and the consensus is that we are moving too slow but there has been some progress.

So I as, do we really have a grasp on Big Data? It seems the jury is still out.

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David Chou

About David Chou

David, named one of the Top 100 Social CIOs, has worked within the healthcare industry for more than 15 years. David understands the healthcare business landscape and applies the appropriate technology solution for the business. Specializing in helping healthcare organizations (hospitals, health systems, MSO, life science) maximize their technology investment in order to start transforming the organization towards a digital enterprise. David also advises startup companies on their strategy in entering the healthcare vertical.

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