Infinite Data, Infinite Possibilities – Are You Ready?

While healthcare in the US accounts for almost 20% of the GDP, it is also highly inefficient with estimates ranging from 10% to 30% inefficiency. Much of this inefficiency is due to healthcare data “stuck” in various systems and inaccessible by the patient or treating physician.

Currently physicians know what the patient has shared with them and what tests and medications they prescribed, but often they don’t know what their specialty colleagues advised or what the patient is doing with that info. Health plans know of the claims submitted but more often than not don’t know the results of the tests or the EMR notes. Without access to good data, simple questions from healthcare providers are often met with confusion leading to inefficient care including:

  • Medication history: For seniors on more than 5 medications – what medicines are you taking? Who prescribed these meds? Why are you taking them? Are they helping? Do you have side effects?
  • Health history: Is your condition getting better or worse? How sure are you that you have the condition? What tests have you had? Why was that surgery done?
  • Hospitalization and Emergency Room Visits: What did you visit the hospital for? What is the follow up care? How sure were the treating doctors of your diagnosis?
  • Lifestyle/Habits: Who helps in your care? Are you able to change your diet? Can you find an exercise partner? Do you use any self-monitoring devices? Does it change how you manage your health? Will you share the data?

Consumers also have a hard time getting answers to simple questions such as:

  • Who is a good doctor (specialist) for this condition? What do quality scores mean? Who rates the doctors? How many procedures have they done?
  • Does it matter which hospital I get this procedure? Is it in or out of network?
  • Didn’t I just have this test last year? Why do I need it again? Do my doctors communicate?
  • What are my treatment options? How much do they cost?
  • Is this treatment helping me? Do I really have this condition? Should I get a second opinion?
  • Why is the health plan calling me for “diabetes”? I don’t have diabetes.

Combining key EMR data from the multiple doctors, patient and caregiver data, and health plan data into a longitudinal smart record would change healthcare delivery. Consumers would be more empowered, physicians more informed on their patients, and health plans more aware of who is at risk for falling through the cracks.

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