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Healthcare Providers Face Challenges in Clinical Data Use

June 10, 2010
by Jennifer Prestigiacomo
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HIMSS study reveals several analytic roadblocks

A just-released study from HIMSS Analytics, a division of the Chicago-based Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), sheds some light on challenges that healthcare providers and payers face in analyzing and collecting clinical data. Predictably, providers cited the lack of interoperability of clinical data sets as a chief concern.

A complaint among the clinicians surveyed—a mix of CMOs and CMIOs—was that data live in many formats, from a note on a piece of paper to an EMR (electronic medical record), and uniting all these data is perceived as a daunting, resource-heavy task. Another challenge for healthcare providers is having resources to mine the data for trends and actionable takeaways. IT solutions are seen by administrators as too expensive and funds for hiring qualified analysts and programmers are lacking.

Study respondents also lamented the fact that data analysis was happening retrospectively instead of in real time at the point of care. This study, sponsored by San Diego, Calif.-based analytics company Anvita Health, involved a small focus group of CMOs and CMIOs from medium to large healthcare organizations.