We live in a world that is driven by information and technology. The advent of internet has changed the schematics for information dissemination and it has made information more accessible. Hence, people are now more informed and there is a level of transparency. However, while the free world may be more susceptible to change, the healthcare industry has to crawl slowly under the weight of regulations, controls and certifications. It is not easy to bring about change. After all, healthcare has always been more of a reactive industry, struggling with the pressure of performance and budgeting. However, in the last few years the health IT industry has amassed trillions. The EMR adoption rates have doubled over the last couple of years while stock for mobile health has skyrocketed, luring venture capitalists from all over the world.
It would not be wrong to deduce that within in the world of information technology, health IT is aiming for the summit. Dr. Barry Chaiken from DocsNetwork recognizes this as a digital age. He believes that by using technology, information can be captured at every point and stored for later use. Using connected medical devices along with interoperable EMR systems, the process can be simplified to a great extent. Dr. Chaiken explains that while the data generated this way is a byproduct of other activities, it carries more value for medical research and development purposes. However, Dr. Chaiken also states that while data collection is becoming more expansive and granular, the utilization is still poor in most cases.
The data mining capability of EMRs can help physicians create useful data for analysis. “It is one of the key benefits. The healthcare industry has a lot to gain from data mining. By collecting and utilizing systematic data effectively, healthcare organizations can become more efficient as this opens them up for further business opportunities.”, says a health IT expert.
However, the benefits of effective data utilization are not limited to health economics. Dr. Chaiken believes that this will promote Accountable Care Organizations and help them derive more value. He said, “Only through innovative analytical techniques will we be able to truly leverage the healthcare data collected and improve the way we deliver care.”
A nationwide healthcare network will allow organizations to play a more active role in the community. Information exchange will accelerate response times and improve clinical learning across the nation. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) can benefit from the systematic data pooling which will allow them to track diseases and outbreaks better. When looking at health IT and electronic medical records, the possibilities are endless. However, effective utilization of valuable information remains a challenge.