Data sharing: Putting an end to communication breakdowns

#5in5_Blog_BannerOne of the buzzwords in health care reform is “interoperability.” But what’s behind the buzz?

Interoperability is the ability to share data across systems and analyze and use the data. But it’s not just about sharing for sharing’s sake. The goal is to use information to create bigger, more complete data sets that can power analytics platforms and drive health care decisions — all in hopes of achieving better care coordination and utilization rates.

Cathryn Kelly, a manager of population health at Lehigh Valley Health Network, believes data exchange will help address one of the greatest challenges facing the health care industry — fragmentation of care.

“Patients access care in a multitude of different ways,” says Kelly. “They will access care across health systems. Those health systems don’t necessarily communicate and, therefore, there can be a breakdown. There can be duplication of services.”

Communication breakdowns can also lead to problems with prescription interactions and determining the appropriate level of care. They can rob providers of information that would affect treatment — details like chronic health conditions, substance-abuse issues and access to transportation.

The ability to share different types of data — from clinical and claims reports to lab results and demographics — across the care continuum — from acute care facilities and primary care clinics to skilled nursing facilities and pharmacies — promises to close some of these gaps in care.

With shared data “we can get a more holistic picture of what’s going on with that patient,” says Kelly.

Kelly answers five questions in five minutes on the link between shared data and better care coordination in the latest #5in5 episode from Optum Provider. She explains the how it can lead to improved outcomes for patients and better financial results. She also talks about her perfect world scenario for data exchange.

Click here to watch the video.


About the Author:

Leslie Cozatt currently serves as director of Marketing, Optum Provider – Thought Leadership and Content Strategy. She directs the development of content that spotlights the role of data analytics in healthcare – specifically the transition to value-based care, risk management and population health management. She brings to her role more than 20 years of experience developing B2Leslie CozattB and B2C integrated marketing campaigns for companies including ThreeWire, Eliance and 3M. Leslie attended the University of Minnesota and graduated from Wellington College with a BS in international business & comm

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