Healthcare Data Management
Over the past few years, healthcare organizations have seen enormous growth in their ability to gather data about patients. Terabytes of patient data are now being aggregated from a multitude of sources. Electronic health records (EHRs) are one of the largest contributors, of course, but electronic data is also being collected from a plethora of medical devices inside and outside of clinical settings, health information exchanges (HIEs), clinical laboratories, physicians’ notes, radiology, genomics labs, even the patients themselves.
With this enormous amount of data, healthcare organizations need to manage this data properly, either on-premises or in the cloud, to turn it into actionable information and unlock the insights and analysis needed to improve patient care. Healthcare data management enables you to integrate and analyze medical data to make patient care more efficient and extract insights that can improve medical outcomes while protecting the security and privacy of the data.
Healthcare Data Management Challenges
There are three main data management challenges facing the healthcare industry:
- Fragmented data: Healthcare data can be structured data in spreadsheets or databases, images or video files, digital documents, scanned paper documents, or maybe stored in specialized formats such as the DICOM format used for MRI scans. Data is widely duplicated, collected multiple times and stored in different versions by healthcare providers, public health organizations, insurance bodies, pharmacies, and patients.
- Data changes: Healthcare data constantly changes, as do the names, professions, locations and conditions of patients and physicians. Patients undergo numerous tests and are administered many types of treatment over the years, and the treatments and medications themselves evolve. New types of medical treatment, such as telehealth models, create new data types.
- Regulations and compliance: Medical data is sensitive and must adhere to government regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Storage Considerations for Healthcare Data
Having the right data management software in place can transform patient experience — improving care outcomes while reducing operating costs. You’ll be able to simplify data management, enhance security and ensure compliance. Because of the nature of the sensitive data healthcare organizations generate, choosing the right company and product for data management is crucial and can be the difference between success or failure in launching your organization into this data-driven digital world.
The key to successful healthcare data management is partnering with a company like OnPar Technologies, which can help you analyze which storage option is the best for your organization and move your data securely and efficiently. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a data management software for your practice or hospital.
Training and Support
Without understanding how to use the data management software your healthcare organization is implementing, there is a higher likelihood of error. When choosing a data management software, check if it offers training and support. A committed vendor will train your staff and provide support in case of system crashes or if the staff encounters problems. Some vendors assign a direct liaison to deal specifically with issues affecting your company. Support should be available 24/7 for 365 days of the year. You want to have someone who can fix the issue in the middle of the night on a slow Sunday.
Healthcare data is some of the most sensitive personal information that exists today. It is also one of the most sought after and frequently breached data types. Organizations across the healthcare industry must balance protecting patient privacy while delivering quality patient care and meeting the strict regulatory requirements set forth by HIPAA and other regulations, such as the EU’s GDPR.
Because protected health information (PHI) is among an individual’s most sensitive (and for criminals, valuable) private data, the guidelines for healthcare providers and other organizations that handle, use, or transmit patient information include strict data protection requirements that can incur hefty fines if they’re not met. Do your due diligence to ensure your data management software of choice meets compliance requirements and has a robust security infrastructure in place to protect your organization’s healthcare data.
Utilizing an independent quality assurance (IQA) feature is especially essential in healthcare as organizations use a wide variety of complex, integrated applications in their critical day-to-day processes. Application downtime or malfunction can inconvenience users, damage your organization’s reputation, and impact the quality of care a patient receives.
A QA feature can save healthcare organizations money, time, and energy by preventing defects and downtime due to application malfunctions. In the event of a system incompatibility or a bug, IQA can apply a solution to mitigate consequences in real-time, and you can perform an analysis to see what went wrong and why the bug occurred to accurately reflect any necessary test, process, or architectural changes.
Accuracy and Integrations with Other Software
The hospital data management software you choose should integrate easily with other software your organization uses, like the EHR system. Ease of communication between systems allows medical professionals to access patients’ medical data collected from numerous sources, distribute it among primary stakeholders, and deliver timely prescriptions and treatment protocols.
It’s also important to ensure that the software is accurate and up to date. Ensure that the software a vendor is offering has been tested and reviewed for accuracy as well as how often your vendor updates their software and if they put their products through a review or automated testing trial period.
Comprehensive Healthcare Data Management From OnPar Technologies
With the growing challenges of cost competitiveness and meeting regulatory requirements, healthcare organizations need data management services that are compliant with federal and security requirements — and perform at expected quality levels. Utilizing the best processes and an integrated framework can help deliver superior and secure applications.
At OnPar Technologies, we leverage our deep industry experience to create a secure, reliable data ecosystem that helps you make the most out of your data. We deliver comprehensive health data services, from extraction, conversion, migration and retention to mobility and analytics solutions. Our team understands that patient health data must be treated with the utmost care to ensure its integrity during a data move and will collaborate with you to plan, develop, test, and implement the best approach for moving your organization’s data. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.