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AMA Launches Collaborative Initiative to Tackle Health Data Issues

October 17, 2017
by Heather Landi
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The American Medical Association (AMA) announced Monday that it is launching a platform, called the Integrated Health Model Initiative, to bring together healthcare providers and health technology companies around a common data model.

According to an AMA press release, the Integrated Health Model Initiative (IHMI) “fills the national imperative to pioneer a shared framework for organizing health data, emphasizing patient centric information, and refining data elements to those most predictive of achieving better outcomes. Evolving available health data to depict a complete picture of a patient’s journey from wellness to illness to treatment and beyond allows health care delivery to fully focus on patient outcomes, goals and wellness.”

Participation in the initiative is open to all healthcare and technology stakeholders, and early collaborators include IBM, Cerner, Intermountain Healthcare, the American Heart Association and the American Medical Informatics Association.

More information about joining IHMI can be found here www.ama-assn.org/ihmi.

AMA says the platform supports a continuous learning environment with an online platform that enables a common data model to evolve with real-world use and feedback from participants.

“We spend more than three trillion dollars a year on health care in America and generate more health data than ever before. Yet some of the most meaningful data – data to unlock potential improvements in patient outcomes – is fragmented, inaccessible or incomplete,” AMA CEO James L. Madara, M.D., said in a statement. “The collaborative effort of IHMI will help the health system learn how to collect, organize, and exchange patient-centered data in a common structure that captures what is most important for improving care and long-term wellness, and transform the data into a rich stream of accessible and actionable information.”

By offering a common data model for the health system to collect, organize, exchange and analyze critical data elements, clinicians will be equipped with essential information to shift care plans towards achieving outcomes that are more relevant to a patient’s quality of life and consistent with the patient’s lifestyle, goals, and health status, AMA said. IHMI will initially prioritize its resources and efforts in clinical areas such as hypertension, diabetes and asthma, AMA also stated.

As IHMI launches, the AMA is currently focused on:

Hosting clinical and issue-based communities focused on costly and burdensome areas. This fosters collaborative efforts around common interests and areas of need, such as hypertension management, diabetes prevention, asthma function, and identifying the best available science and practices that define patient-centric care.

Providing a clinical validation process to determine and apply appropriate clinical frameworks. Participants will provide contributions and feedback online to specify data elements and relationships. Clinical content submissions will go through a validation process to review clinical applicability.

Specifying a model to encode information in the IHMI data model. Clinical content will enable configurations of the model and reference value sets that can be distributed.

Additional communities will be developed and added to the online platform based on market needs throughout 2018.

“IHMI is the latest development in the AMA’s ongoing work to build bridges with health technology leaders and bring the physician voice into the innovation space. Patients deserve—and the marketplace should expect—physician input on the real-world value and feasibility of products and health technologies,” AMA senior vice president of health solutions Laurie McGraw said in a statement. “With a proven track record as a trusted, neutral convener, the AMA is uniquely qualified to lead and facilitate a collaboration that helps physicians take on a greater role in leading changes that will move technological innovations forward.”

 

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