Storing healthcare data electronically keeps confidential information safe yet easily shareable. Properly using, securing and accessing data is essential for providing the right patient care without error among ACOs and Employer Based Networks. But that’s only achieved with careful planning.


Integration reinforces useful data

As Becker’s Healthcare explains, building a data-driven practice can help you get the most from your collected information to drive processes required for value-based care. This means using data to make informed decisions, improve internal operations and provide better service.

Allowing EMRs to be shared effortlessly between physicians, care facilities and specialty labs is crucial for acquiring a comprehensive data set. Being proactive with security is also important, considering that HIPAA Journal’s latest Healthcare Data Breach Report for August 2019 found that 1.5 breaches were reported a day, leading to a whopping 729,975 healthcare records being compromised in the month.

Achieving seamless integration is a crucial component of any data strategy, as you can see its benefits are numerous for helping healthcare networks securely communicate and operate.


Can you deploy your data strategy in-house?

Integration removes the traditional burdens of data sharing, and as a hub and spoke system it’s highly scalable and flexible. Once you make one connection to a cloud-based hub, you can send or receive data from anywhere else. If you’re in the beginning stages of creating a data strategy and want to know which steps can be completed in-house, ask yourself some of the following questions:


  • What are your goals?

Convene your team in-house to discuss what you want or need from an integrated network. Do you want to improve patient engagement, or reduce the lag time between sharing patient data?  Utilize your current resources to understand how your patients and practitioners are engaging with you and identify any areas where data is lacking.


  • How quickly do we need to set up the network?

Do you need a perfect network within a few months, or are your current systems enough to pull you along for another year? If an integrated network is an urgent need, and you don’t have and experienced IT department in-house to set it up swiftly and accurately, getting outside help would be best.


  • Who will design and support the network?

During planning, consider who will be designing and setting up the network. Larger networks may have an IT department that’s equipped to handle integration and experience making custom connections, but is any additional equipment necessary?

Receiving Integration-as-a-Service through a third party can minimize costs because your network won’t be responsible for bringing in specialized equipment or niche technical skills and knowledge. Additionally, they will always be there to provide support unlike an employee who may leave and take their knowledge with them.


How to proceed

Data is a healthcare organization’s biggest asset, as it can help you make critical decisions that will benefit your network. Though it may be possible to take your data strategy completely in-house, there are simply some things that are worth getting outside, expert assistance with.  While deciding whether to bring these functions in-house ultimately depends on your network’s resources and capabilities, always ask yourself these questions to find the best path for implementing your data strategy.

For more guidance on designing a data strategy that meets your goals, download our new eBook.


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