A new paper from researchers at the Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, the Regenstrief Institute, released by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), makes the argument that as healthcare moves to electronic systems, data from individual patient visits at doctor’s offices and hospitals can be used on a national scale to improve care and reduce costs.
"Every healthcare encounter provides not only an opportunity to improve the health of the individual patient, but also to help improve the care of others," stated Michael D. Murray, PharmD, MPH, one of authors of the paper as well as a Regenstrief Institute investigator and Purdue University professor.
“Currently, the information collected like blood pressure, weight, medications used, disease diagnoses and medical history are used only to inform decisions for that individual patient. We are missing a tremendous opportunity to turn our health care system into one that learns from each care experience and leads to better and more affordable care for all."
According to Murray, and other authors of the paper, titled “Making the Case for Continuous Learning From Routinely Collected Data," the information could better monitor diseases and outbreak, target helpful medical services, reduce unnecessary testing and treatments, prevent medical errors, and accelerate medical research and delivery of new treatments. The paper details the various sources of clinical data available and case studies of how this information can be used.