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Breaking Down Data Silos for Better Health Care

Health care organizations house countless databases and record assets that fuel their operations and support fast, informed decision-making - this isn't news to anyone remotely familiar with the sector. Unfortunately, many stakeholders in the world of health care believe that electronic health systems are the be-all and end-all of patient care efficiency and effectiveness, and decision-makers seem to have eased back on the urgency with which they pursue new avenues of data generation and collaborative facilitation. 

Getting Down to Business

It's time to get back to work and develop a higher standard for the alignment of digital resources in the health care environment, and I believe that breaking down the barriers between disparate data systems is key to catalyzing a change for the better. Silos across departments and organizations are the culprits in data droughts and other information shortages, and must be targeted with coordinated IT consulting efforts. The dissolution of system silos and departmental barriers is clearly a daunting task for any health care organization, especially in light of the compliance standards and regulatory stringency that currently define the sector landscape. According to CIO Magazine, it is for these reasons that IT departments, upper-level management teams and business units must band together in their efforts to open up channels of communication and create a more collaborative outlook for data creation and distribution. 

Setting a New Standard

While most institutions are adept at storing data, it in is the dissemination and analysis of these resources where they fall short, limiting the agility of patient care and shortchanging the professionals who need the data in a timely manner. Beginning with stronger collaboration across the organization is a good step toward ensuring the compliant exchange of information and the collapse of data silos. "Where most health systems are today is they've all just spent millions and millions of dollars implementing EHRs of one flavor or another, and are now sort of at the point of discovering that there's a whole new range of tools that need to sit on top of those EHRs that actually let them get value out of the data that they've got," said Chas Roades, chief research officer at the Advisory Board Company, according to the source. With improved information flow between various institutions and professionals, we may finally be able to make a lasting, positive impact on the world of health care.

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