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Healthy Data

Author: InterSystems

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Data is the foundation of everything. But unorganized, unreliable data doesn't help anyone.

Healthy Data, a podcast series by InterSystems, features real-world stories and insights from leaders in healthcare, business, and government. Each episode spotlights how they're using creative data technology to enable the seamless flow of information and better decisions.

Listen to unlock the ideas that will prepare your business for whatever comes next.
13 Episodes
Volatility has become the standard in stock markets across the world over the past several months. Ever since COVID-19 fired off an economic recession, capital markets firms have fought to stabilize their operations. But one key to success amid explosive markets lies within each organization: data.   This week on Healthy Data, we host a discussion on the need for speed and scale in the financial services sector, with its ever-rising number of transactions. Our guests are Joe Lichtenberg, director of product and industry marketing for InterSystems, and Larry Tabb, founder and research chairman of the research and consulting firm the Tabb Group. Together, they examine how capital markets—and banks’ customers—can benefit from healthy data, now and long into the future.   This conversation occurred prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but its insights remain critical. Tabb and Lichtenberg, for instance, discuss trends among the world’s top banks, who are racing to implement high-performance data technologies—without the drawbacks of in-memory databases. Multi-level architectures that require banks to stitch together a database and a data grid or data fabric simply won’t cut it. Integration and consistency are key. Losing data is, of course, detrimental to the success of any bank. Lichtenberg and Tabb go on to analyze the trend toward built-in persistence and enterprise-wide data fabrics, with guaranteed consistency.   When banks pin down their strategy to achieve and leverage healthy data, anything is possible. They can implement real-time advanced analytics, unlock efficiencies in the front and middle offices, and execute a successful algorithmic trading program. The benefits of a data-driven future for capital markets are limitless.   But the first step is, as always, data that flows seamlessly and is ready for action.   So, tune in and let us know your thoughts. How is your bank using data to stay ahead of the curve? And where can you improve?   To learn how InterSystems can help you achieve healthy data today, click here ( .
Why have so many data-sharing efforts excluded mental health data when the disconnect risks patient safety and promotes inefficiencies? The answer could be as simple as this: Mental health data is difficult to collect, standardize, and analyze. But should that notion preclude us from taking the first step toward making it happen, however difficult it may be? Dr. James Reed didn’t think so, so he took action. As a psychiatrist and chief clinical information officer for the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Reed helped launch an innovative network charged with uniting mental health data from four neighboring trusts in the United Kingdom. The organization—MERIT, or the Mental Health Alliance for Excellence, Resilience, Innovation and Training—has since optimized and improved care delivery, eliminated duplicative processes, and earned buy-in from above and below. On this episode of Healthy Data, we speak with Reed to better understand how sharing mental health data has transformed care in one area and what that could mean for the healthcare industry at large. Keep in mind that we spoke with Reed before the coronavirus pandemic began its spread. Since then, however, the work of MERIT has remained important amid rising concerns about mental health stemming from social isolation and pandemic-induced panic. The data connections described in this episode, it turns out, might be more critical now than ever before. Learn how InterSystems can help you achieve healthy data today ( .
Value-based care and strong population health programs require a robust combination of claims and clinical data. But healthcare providers and insurers often lack at least one side of the equation.   That’s where Jason Buckner comes in. He’s the technology chief operating officer for Manifest MedEx ( , California’s nonprofit health data network. The organization teams up with more than 400 healthcare organizations, including 100-plus hospitals and seven health plans, across the Golden State. Manifest MedEx shares records for 20 million Californians and brings formidable tools such as real-time alerts and access to clinical and claims data to its participants.   The success here—the jewel—is how it meshes claims and clinical data and then makes that actionable for members. But Manifest MedEx has also begun incorporating predictive analytics into its game. That’s empowering providers to step in before a health crisis occurs.   In this episode of Healthy Data, a podcast series by InterSystems, we examine the inspiring data work of Manifest MedEx with Jason Buckner and how other organizations can follow its lead.   We spoke with Buckner a few months before the coronavirus pandemic struck, but his insights have only become more relevant. Manifest MedEx has been working with public health departments and officials to identify at-risk populations and monitor trends in healthcare utilization. It’s all about keeping a pulse on hospital and health system capacity—because pandemic or not, the smart use of data and predictive analytics is critical to all of our health.
As the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold of the world, much of the conversation understandably focused on federal and state responses. For most people, the role of health information technology remained hidden behind staggering infection rates and death tolls. But interoperability, it turns out, proved to be critical in coordinating the public health response.   We spoke with Jay Nakashima, executive director of eHealth Exchange ( , to learn how his organization retooled its focus to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. What we found was noteworthy in several ways:   ·      The health information network connected healthcare provider organizations to public health agencies in a seamless manner that supported a stronger response than would have otherwise been obtainable. ·      The eHealth Exchange launched initiatives that enabled healthcare organizations, physicians, and patients to regain some sense of agency at a time when almost everything seemed out of their control. ·      Interoperability emerged as important in a time of pandemic as it is in times of peace.   But how did the eHealth Exchange, whose data network connects federal and non-federal organizations, wage its coronavirus response campaign? In this episode of InterSystems Healthy Data, Nakashima discusses electronic case reporting, advance care plans and directives, and new take on the Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies, better known as PULSE.   Of course, the United States and other nations still have work to do to achieve seamless, comprehensive interoperability. Nakashima also weighs in on how healthcare and technology leaders can advance the cause and why they must, even after COVID-19 enters the history books.
Across healthcare, access to data is increasing exponentially and bringing new opportunities for stakeholders throughout the industry. But it’s important to understand that when it comes to data, availability is not quite as important as usefulness. As the coronavirus pandemic tightens economic activity and strains hospitals in many countries, actionable data holds promise to reduce the impact. We spoke with Don Woodlock, head of the HealthShare business unit at InterSystems, before COVID-19 emerged, but his insights into data’s role in improving the healthcare system have only grown more important. Healthcare is seeing a shift toward so-called “clean data,” which is more useful in helping generate effective insight, Woodlock says. Late last year, he caught up with InterSystems organization’s partners, including health systems, health information exchanges (HIE) and payer organizations, to understand their approaches. Across that spectrum, capturing clean data was a critical mission objective. So here’s the big question: how do these forward-thinking organizations plan to achieve that goal? In this episode of InterSystems PULSEcast, Woodlock spotlights the answers and examines how critical healthcare change-makers like health systems, HIEs and payers are fitting data into forms that are helpful to doctors, data analysts and other key players. He also explores the opportunities inherent in following the clean data trend, and how enterprising organizations can prepare to act upon the insights that are sure to follow.
At the heart of nearly every health IT project is the patient, and that’s where Lygeia Ricciardi’s heart is, too. As Chief Transformation Officer of the digital health startup Carium and a former leader at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), Ricciardi brings a deep understanding of patient needs, which can get lost in the shuffle—especially as the healthcare industry grows more complex each day. Ricciardi’s experience has also helped her understand that increasing complexity means healthcare organizations and developers face new challenges in building apps that resonate with and serve their patient population’s best interests. What’s really missing from those apps today? Empathy and connection, Ricciardi says. There are tons of great apps that help patients accomplish practical feats like counting calories. But a real sense of connection and support for these patients’ underlying motivations—like getting to a healthy weight or improving their diabetes, for example—should be a key focus for health system leaders and developers as they kickoff new projects. Tune into this episode of InterSystems PULSEcast to learn how to measure and meet patient needs, overcome the cultural, financial and privacy challenges that stand between you and your next successful app, and direct your assets and resources appropriately to ensure you’re putting forth your best effort to engage your patient population with human-centered design.
Jeff Fried is passionate about helping people create data-driven applications that empower their decision-making. It’s this very passion that drives Fried, director of product management at InterSystems and a self-proclaimed data management nerd, to encourage the enterprise- level operationalization of data — a process that strictly defines variables into measurable factors. Operationalization defines fuzzy concepts (of which there are many in the tip-of-the-spear world of data analytics) and allows them to be measured empirically and quantitatively. Keep in mind that data operationalization isn’t new and shouldn’t be feared. Industries like banking and retail are long-time beneficiaries of so-called “data opps.” Healthcare, on the other hand, has been slower to the draw. But that doesn’t mean it’s too late. In fact, in an industry where data operationalization isn’t yet widespread, those who take action now stand to gain solid footing on which to better serve their patient populations and serious competitive advantage. What exactly are those advantages? Tune in to this episode of InterSystems PULSEcast to find out. Along the way, Fried will help you discover how to put pragmatic plans in place that smooth operations and bring direct business benefit to your organization through data operationalization.
In healthcare IT, data silos are well-known foes. Talk of “breaking them down” permeates most health IT conferences, and for good reason: These silos stand between our present reality and the future promise of more informed, efficient, and personalized healthcare delivery. But there is a lesser-known type of silo that, until recently, has largely crept below the radar—the silo that isolates a patient’s desire to have a say in their care journey from their physician’s determination of what’s best for that patient. Often these two forces don’t align. At worst, they completely neglect to take one another into account. The drive to break down this silo and embed consent, connectivity and clinical context into the patient-physician relationship is at the core of Coordinate My Care, a UK-based service that’s part of the National Health Service’s (NHS) Innovation Accelerator program. The service helps inform physicians of their patients’ desires, so they can make bespoke treatment recommendations that honor each patient's self-sovereignty. In this episode of InterSystems PULSEcast, we speak with Professor Julia Riley, consultant in palliative medicine and clinical lead for Coordinate My Care, to discover why connected patient plans are such an urgent need, how to bring them to life while minimizing cultural pushback, and how the patient-physician relationship stands to benefit.
Jim Collins uses artificial intelligence (AI) to explore beyond the limits of what was once thought possible. The former Rhodes Scholar and MacArthur Fellow (or MacArthur Genius, as you may know it) runs a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) lab whose goal is to combat increasing antibiotic resistance through new drug discovery. His work in synthetic biology, meanwhile, focuses on rewiring tiny organisms so that they can identify and even help treat infection. It’s all possible only because of AI, which Collins leverages to analyze the billions of data points required to push these boundaries. But Collins knows that AI is not magical, nor is it a silver bullet. Beyond the hype we can see that it’s no more or less than a high-tech tool. As such, it takes time, expertise and smart partnerships to integrate into a business and realize its potential. In this episode, Collins details the evolution of AI in healthcare and how the technology could advance biomedicine, as well as how those looking to leverage AI in healthcare can avoid common pitfalls, forge the right partnerships and take a thoughtful approach to implementation.
Google Maps is useful because it’s driven by an incredible trove of quality data that empowers us to see the world from different perspectives—a humble orb floating across the galaxy or a sandwich shop down the street.  What if healthcare had such a trove of data? Clean data that, instead of being holed up in silos, flowed like a river across the industry? Many experts believe that if this was the case, we could zoom out to build big-picture maps of chronic disease hotspots (and more efficiently conduct the work needed to curtail such problems) and zoom in to the individual patient, who could benefit from our improved understanding of family history, social determinants of health and other distinct factors. Is this an idealistic, far-fetched idea? Not quite. Dozens of Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) across the country are working toward this noble goal right now. Angie Bass, president and CEO of the Missouri Health Connection, a midwestern HIE, is looking to leverage the data in her network to help her partners provide better care.  Tune into this episode to learn more about the strategies Bass uses to manage the constant evolution HIEs must endure, what specific steps she plans to take to achieve her lofty goals, and how she ensures her network harnesses the cleanest data available as a fuel source to propel the healthcare industry forward.
Data is everywhere and capturing it has never been simpler or more cost-effective. But as data collection becomes more widely accessible, the process of parsing it into actionable insights represents a distinct challenge—and a huge opportunity. In this episode of InterSystems PULSEcast, David Menninger, an analyst at Ventana Research who has led data projects for more than 25 years, unveils best practices for harnessing the power of real-time data, IoT, artificial intelligence and more. Tune in to join the journey from data collection to extracted insights and everything between.
Decentralization means healthcare is changing in an unprecedented way—it’s moving outside the hospital walls. Tune into this episode of InterSystems PULSEcast to hear Kathleen Aller, head of healthcare market strategy at InterSystems, discuss the ideas behind the decentralization of care, explore what it means for enterprising healthcare organizations, and spotlight strategies that can help you use this incredible moment to your advantage.
John Halamka is preparing for a forthcoming sea change in the way we extract value from health information: the decentralization of data.  Tune in to discover which new data sources you should be keeping an eye on, how to cut through the hype and identify the sources that bring the greatest tangible value, who needs to be at the table when putting together a successful data strategy, and so much more.
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