Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

Keith J. Figlioli, Senior Vice President, healthcare informatics, Premier Healthcare Alliance

Keith J. Figlioli, Senior Vice President, healthcare informatics, Premier healthcare alliance

By Keith J. Figlioli

From banking to air travel, the evolution of technology has made connecting information seamless and almost limitless for many people and industries today. But not in healthcare. At least, not yet.

Healthcare is rapidly moving to become more connected and accountable, but its technology isn’t keeping pace. Though they’re an important piece of the puzzle, legacy technology platforms such as electronic medical records (EMRs), address today’s challenges, not tomorrow’s requirements. The majority can’t integrate clinical, financial and operational data across individual hospitals, let alone across health systems or the continuum of care.

A main reason for the IT disconnect in healthcare is the fact that not enough actual health system experience goes into its development. With healthcare quickly evolving and entering uncharted waters, we need those driving this evolution to be directly involved in the development of its IT. Ultimately, nobody else could truly know what is needed to manage the health of a population. 

Determined to ensure providers get the data analytics and business intelligence needed to improve population health, a group of the nation’s leading IT and clinical experts launched the Data Alliance Collaborative (DAC).

The DAC is led by five geographically distinct and innovative health systems sharing real-world experiences and knowledge:  Carilion Clinic (Roanoke, Va.); Carolinas HealthCare System (Charlotte, N.C.); Catholic Health Partners (Cincinnati); Fairview Health Services (Minneapolis) and Texas Health Resources (Arlington, Texas). They operate nearly 100 hospitals and over 1,600 non-acute sites, caring for 28 million people.

The collaborative also benefits from IBM’s technology expertise, and the Premier healthcare alliance’s proven collaborative methodology and scale through its 2,900 member hospitals.

The DAC represents the first time that providers – not just technology manufacturers – are taking direct control. They’re co-developing solutions designed by them, for them, in a collaborative format that accelerates efficiencies and cost savings while avoiding duplication of effort.

Members are using Big Data, as opposed to local or silo-ed data, and will get richer insights as a result. They’re taking traditionally disparate data from all care settings, commercial payers and Medicare, and putting it in one place. The result is more actionable information allowing providers to better understand their patients – what drugs they’re taking or allergic to, what procedures they’ve had recently and more. This helps reduce unnecessary care that can compromise safety and add to already expensive bills for both consumers and health systems.

Having providers collaborate to lead the day-to-day development of data analytics is the best way to ensure they get what they need to improve the health of populations. It’s a key first step toward creating IT solutions that support what we’re trying to build in healthcare – a system that is coordinated, where communication is dramatically improved; and where we’re building, connecting and constantly interacting with information from multiple channels, all in one place.


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