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Time to walk the talk of data sharing in Healthcare

by Jeff Plum
For years, conversations in Healthcare have been abuzz about interoperability and data sharing. Now, one thing is clear. There’s been a significant culture shift towards data sharing in both the private and public sectors. We’re no longer just talking the talk. We know it’s time to take a holistic approach to enable better data sharing between and across organizations, and to use accessible data to improve care. We are now learning that many healthcare organizations are doing just that.

In fact, these topics were largely discussed at the HIMSS 2018 conference. Here are some takeaways:

One of the biggest announcements at HIMSS came from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which pledged to share more data between federal departments and the public

1. The public sector has acknowledged the importance of data sharing.

One of the biggest announcements at HIMSS came from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which pledged to share more data between federal departments and the public. HHS has not only committed to open up data sharing between its departments and agencies, but they’ve also begun to form private-public partnerships to encourage data use. This announcement at HIMSS demonstrates the government’s acknowledgement of data sharing as a critical component  that drives  better health outcomes. 

2. Healthcare organizations are putting the idea into action – but security is still a concern.

In the private sector, healthcare organizations are already bringing the concept of data sharing to fruition. The “post-EHR” era is here. We’ve embraced an environment of innovative technologies like IoT, biometrics, augmented reality, AI and more. For all of these emerging solutions, data remains at the core. Having the ability to capture, secure, share and apply both clinical and business information drives innovation at the system level to improve clinical and financial outcomes. Health leaders are striving for better information sharing through digital avenues, and they are highly focused on the security concerns this can spur.

3. To safely & successfully share data, information governance is key.

The ability to standardize information management policies will help protect healthcare organizations in today’s new culture of data sharing. As providers exchange more information, there’s a greater likelihood of duplicative documents and a growing haystack of information. Outdated, redundant documents are at risk of security breach – and every time information changes hands, there’s the possibility of mismanagement. Information governance can dramatically reduce the time, cost and risk of managing in-house IT infrastructures that support information sharing.

Connect people and data for better care

Many healthcare organizations are focused on device connectivity, yet it is equally important to connect people and workflows to reach true interoperability. Explore the top ways providers can connect people across departments for more connected care.
Walking the walk of the data sharing culture empowers healthcare institutions to achieve greater patient safety and privacy, improve efficiency and care coordination and ultimately drive a better patient experience. Are you ready to embrace this culture shift?
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Jeff Plum
Jeff Plum, Business Process Consultant for Ricoh USA, Inc., is highly proficient in enhancing document and information flow and accessibility with an intended goal of improving patient care, the physician experience and operational efficiencies. Plum has been with Ricoh for more than 34 years, with more than 30 years of that focused on the Healthcare space. Plum has an extensive background in patient access, medical records, physician referrals, pharmacy, lab and overall documentation content and workflow in both the acute care and ambulatory care space.