Patient-generated Health Data: Unlocking The Value
"We've killed more people because we didn't share data than because we did," as one of the memorable quotes were among my many takeaways from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual conference last week in Orlando.
A continuing concern in the post-EHR era has been the risk of physician burnout due to high levels of documentation with alert fatigue from clinical systems. Done right, patient-generated health data (PGHD) should not produce data overload.
There is no question that the increasing mass of data available on patients is empowering hospitals to take more risk and enhance health outcomes. Nevertheless, there is no obvious way today to move data between systems. Data interoperability continues a problem because much of the EHR data is locked up in proprietary vendor platforms.
From a healthcare policy viewpoint, there are other initiatives underway that could provide a boost for PGHD. In the U. S. the federal government's guidelines for meaningful use of EHR technology, which are set to go into effect in 2018, expect hospital EHR systems to have the ability to accumulate PGHD from nonclinical sources. Under the newly proposed Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, meaningful use is one of the criteria for merit-based incentive payments, and this might further boost PGHD.
As IDG's "CIO" says, the next stage in PGHD is cognitive analysis. Continuous data on patients will help develop predictive analytics models based on advanced algorithms that can be developed by historical data training. As IBM CEO Ginni Rometty put in in her opening keynote at HIMSS 2017, the future of healthcare is cognitive, and the most critical healthcare insights will be from the people who develop it using cognitive computing platforms. Rometty urged health systems to “play offence” and seize the opportunities ahead. PGHD may just be the new game-changer.