Unifying the Healthcare Data Puzzle: Overcoming Fragmentation & Quality Challenges with Availity Fusion
4.09.2023 By Lucy Parente, Director of Strategy at Availity
The healthcare industry produces a massive amount of data each year. In fact, data researchers estimate approximately 30% of the world’s data volume, which is projected to reach 180 zettabytes by 2025, is generated from medical sources such as lab reports, provider notes, and hospital outcome data.1 The sheer scale and dispersed nature of this data creates a huge challenge for those trying to leverage it as a strategic asset to help improve health outcomes, reduce care costs, or simply to gain a competitive edge. That’s because data generated from multiple sources is often stored in different formats and systems, making it difficult to integrate and utilize in a meaningful way.
Fragmentation in medical records is a common issue in the healthcare industry, particularly when a patient seeks treatment at multiple hospitals or clinics by different providers. In such cases, their medical history and health-related data is likely recorded in different formats and stored in separate systems that are not interconnected. This leads to disintegrated electronic health records (EHRs), making it challenging for healthcare providers to access complete and accurate information, hindering informed medical decision-making. Studies indicate that a lack of dependable access to complete and trustworthy longitudinal health records can result in preventable hospital stays and other forms of inefficiencies and health hazards.2
In an effort to supplement existing data sets or fill-in the clinical data gaps, organizations are turning to a myriad of ways to acquire additional sources of health-related information such as EHR direct connections, health information exchanges (HIEs), and vendor partnerships. However, acquiring clinical data without an enterprise approach to solve semantic interoperability and prepare data for use can add to the complex framework of successfully deploying clinical data for downstream workflows. That’s because clinical data, in raw form, often contains inconsistent or missing codes, duplicate entries, and information documented in incorrect places. This is due to the lack of standardization caused by non-conformant codes, details buried in text, redundancies, and other data quality issues as well as the variation in formats, from Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture (C-CDAs) to flat files to Admit, Discharge, and Transfer (ADT) messages. And challenges with data quality issues in this area will only grow more complex as more data sources, such as patient-generated information from wearables, need to be collected.
To overcome this challenge, organizations must adopt data integration strategies that put data quality improvement and interoperability at the forefront. Availity, at the nexus of payer and provider information exchange, has dedicated the past 20 years to building the nation’s largest data connectivity network and fostering critical collaboration between payers and providers. Focused on solving critical clinical data challenges, Availity offers the premier healthcare data and engagement solution, connecting stakeholders across the ecosystem, to drive better health and a more efficient healthcare system.
Availity Fusion’s API, cloud-based technology solution offers clients and partners a comprehensive 5-step process to upcycle raw clinical data. By integrating data from a range of sources, including EHRs, health plans, aggregators and health information exchanges, health plans, providers, health systems, labs, and more, Availity Fusion creates a consistent and structured data asset in real-time, increasing the accessibility and usefulness of clinical data. With its advanced data acquisition services, cutting-edge upcycling technology, and delivery of clean, actionable, and intelligent data directly into the workflow, Availity Fusion is the solution to the challenges of data access, content, and consumption, helping drive real results.
This combination of a streamlined clinical data asset and bidirectional intelligent data exchange at the point of decision-making maximizes existing investments and drives clinical, financial, and operational impact. To learn more about how clinical data can be a powerful, strategic asset when it’s actionable, accessible, and prepared for use, download our 2023 Clinical Data Integration Buyer’s Guide.
1 Taylor, Petroc. “Total Data Volume Worldwide 2010-2025.” Statista, 8 Sept. 2022, https://www.statista.com/statistics/871513/worldwide-data-created/.
2Kern, Lisa, et al. “Patients' and Providers' Views on Causes and Consequences of Healthcare Fragmentation in the Ambulatory Setting: A Qualitative Study.” Journal of General Internal Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2019, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6544669/.