The days of document-centric information exchange are gone


The days of document-centric information exchange are gone

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The days of document-centric models of health information exchange are gone and a new era in information flow is upon us, according to the 2017 Clinician Network Management Market Trends Report by Chilmark Research, which provides an overview of realistic approaches and solutions to improve data interoperability across the industry.

In the past, messaging-based and document-centric models of health information exchange helped healthcare organizations (HCO) coordinate resources across networked communities of clinicians to enhance care delivery. This report concludes that such approaches have reached the limits of their effectiveness.

The advent of value-based care is driving the need to assess risk across a population and effectively manage that risk across a distributed clinical care delivery network. This requires far richer, diverse information flows across a greater diversity of market participants.

Despite all that existing information exchange solutions have accomplished, the healthcare industry is teeming with separate offerings that provide narrowly-scoped data or services. Each has onboarding, credentialing, technical interfaces, training, and maintenance requirements that consume attention and resources from HCOs and their users. There is no simple mechanism to achieve valuable synergies by combining the offerings together in a useful way. New data types are also beginning to be used in applications.

Brian Murphy, author of the report, said: "The market for data interoperability is at a point where participants are more open to new approaches and technologies based on modern ideas about developing web scale, distributed applications. A lot of this is being driven by user experiences with technology as consumers. There is a broad belief among most healthcare end-users that HIT can do a far better job of delivering data and providing functionality that is easier to use and more responsive to their needs."

The industry is also teeming with organizations beyond hospitals and clinics that can make this data more valuable, if they had access. Payer-provider collaboration models are emerging in response to the economic and logistical challenges both types of organizations are experiencing with information sharing. Solutions hosted by convening organizations will allow health plans and HCOs to better leverage their data for common, shared applications.

The technical approach advocated in this report involves leaving health data closer to where it was created and making it available to a range of diverse applications and users via APIs. Organizations should also be able to provision data based on application need. This approach, widespread outside healthcare, represents a more effective way to supply and consume data. It also offers a better way to accomplish development and integration goals. Such an approach will better support value-based healthcare and simplify what has evolved into notoriously complex implementation and maintenance efforts.

Chilmark Research report, Health information exchange, Brian Murphy, US