Why healthcare organizations need big data integration more than ever

Much like other industry sectors, healthcare organizations face a deluge of big data from theArvind Cleo many disparate systems they’re managing. 

With every hospital, lab and clinic using their own EMR, CRM and ERP systems, it’s easy for these organizations to just “wing it” when managing sensitive information. But how do they reliably exchange information across locations, people and organizations to stay in compliance with an array of regulations?

Big data nirvana

Maintaining organized, quality information on demand for analysis can deliver tremendous value. Healthcare organizations embracing effective data-management practices are finding improvements not only in standard treatments and diagnoses but also in:

  • Preventive medicine
  • Precision treatment strategies
  • Advanced clinical research
  • Reduced readmissions
  • Staff optimization
  • Outbreak prediction

The path to extracting such great insights, however, continues to be a challenging one. Before healthcare organizations can use all of that data, they must improve managing their information flows. They must advance from the business of patient care to the business of “data care.”

What would it take to invest more in health-data management? A data breach? Hefty government fines? Daily workflows grinding to a halt? A compelling event to address data management actually could be much more subtle than those, including:

  • Multiple log-ins on separate systems, creating mass inefficiencies in managing information on patient appointments, lab work or therapy sessions, leading to lost time and money
  • Unnecessary manual workflows when healthcare personnel are too busy tracking down and filing information, especially the paper variety
  • Incomplete patient files that could lead to redundant treatment, duplicate billings and multiple phone calls, emails and other follow-ups

If any of this sounds familiar, your organization is a strong candidate for better data management.

The missing piece                   

So what is the new technology that can advance data management? There might be several solutions, but the technology is definitely not another system for generating electronic health records or just another content-management system to store them.

Faced with a push to go digital as early as 25 years ago and subsidized to do so as recently as five years ago, healthcare systems have countless software options that generate and store digital records. But merely setting up another on-premise or SaaS point solution won’t help achieve better data management. It only adds to the data chaos by deploying another disparate technology that doesn’t play nice with the rest of the IT arsenal.

The key is in the connectivity that reliably mobilizes all of the data—structured and unstructured. More specifically, a single integration platform that connects all of the EHR, CMS, ERP and other essential systems and applications, along with the data hubs these records flow into. Flexible, comprehensive solutions that integrate on-premise and cloud-based applications for sharing data across systems enable the enterprise to leverage a single technology that intelligently delivers essential managed file-transfer (MFT) functionality as well as application, B2B and API-integration capabilities.

The advanced technology that eliminates organizations’ workflow inefficiencies and elevates patient care provides:

  • Holistic integration: Connect multiple information-generating sources, including all internal applications, B2B systems, and cloud solutions, using a single platform that interoperates with existing applications and infrastructure
  • Standardization: Port information from its original source, transform it into a usable format, and facilitate its reliable movement using data-transformation technology that’s built into that single-platform integration solution
  • Security: Encrypt data in motion and at rest with audit capabilities. Healthcare is targeted by hackers seeking non-secured devices, paper and information to net themselves big paydays
  • Governance: Manage data on its journey inside and outside the organization for maximum quality and accuracy, which are keys to speeding up inpatient/outpatient processes, taming schedules and improving patient care
  • High-speed connectivity: Transport massive amounts of data between data lakes and other repositories to get specific, up-to-date information and trends in a timely fashion

The trick (and often the risk) is to find a reliable solution that seamlessly handles all of these requirements but is also easy to deploy, use and manage. What healthcare companies are interested in for effective data-management starts and ends with a leading dynamic-integration solution.

Taking the next step

Assess whether your operation could benefit from consolidated, automated workflows, advanced insight into patient treatment and care, and seamless connectedness across hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities.

If that’s the case, research a highly interoperable pervasive-integration solution that supports connectivity across every endpoint and secure-data exchange via an easy-to-use interface with centralized administrative control. Deploying this advanced integration technology from a trusted vendor lays the foundation for operationalizing the highly coveted big data insights that revolutionize industries.

If this is done properly, it will be a fraction of the current cost to maintain all of those disparate integration-point solutions.

Healthcare organizations realize the immediate benefit of more streamlined workflows and the long-term promise of insights using big data analytics. And ultimately, data care perpetuates more effective patient care and outcomes.

Senior Product Manager Arvind Venugopal manages enterprise integration and big data gateway solutions at Cleo. Contact him at avenugopal@cleo.com

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  • Arvind, big data is a good match in the healthcare industry. At LexisNexis Risk Solutions, we are actively engaged in using the open source HPCC Systems data intensive compute platform along with the massive LexisNexis Public Data Social Graph to tackle everything from fraud waste and abuse, drug seeking behavior, provider collusion, disease management and community healthcare interventions. We have invested in analytics that help map the social context of events through trusted relationships to create better understanding of the big picture that surrounds each healthcare event, patient, provider, business, assets and more. For an interesting case study visit: http://hpccsystems.com/Why-HPCC/case-studies/health-care-fraud

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