Linking Data Management to Better Health

As part of CTSI’s efforts to encourage and support the utilization of health data to improve health, CTSI Deputy Director and CIO, Mini Kahlon, PhD, moderated a panel discussion as part of the 2012 Health Innovation Summit sponsored by Rock Health, a seed-accelerator for health startups, and a wide range of other organizations.

The panelists for Health Data Interoperability & Data Standardization provided insights on key challenges and opportunities in developing and utilizing healthcare data, with speakers covering a spectrum of perspectives. Panel participants included:

     Lynn Barr, Chief Information Officer, Tahoe Forest Health System       
     Nasrin Dayani,
Executive Director, AT&T Mobility Product, mHealth and Pharma
     Kyna Fong, Co-Founder, Elation EMR
     Amanda Goltz, Senior Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Pacific Business Group on Health

...CTSI is helping to facilitate conversations that are bridging understanding.
Mini Kahlon, CTSI Deputy Director & CIO
“Structuring this panel helped identify the various players, challenges, and viewpoints of those involved in acquiring and utilizing health data to improve care,” Kahlon said. “And bringing these voices together, along with those involved in various ends of the spectrum of stakeholders, was a great example of how CTSI is helping to facilitate conversations that are bridging understanding.”

Panelist perspectives included:

- A rural hospitalist who has challenges facing practitioners and systems that deliver care to those most excluded from recent progress;
- A designer for mobile products in health care who is innovating by using a new modality to interface with patients while negotiating a rapidly changing data environment;
- An entrepreneur overcoming data heterogeneity to create an effective Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system;
- A payor representative focused on reducing costs by improving health through innovative uses of data provided directly to patients.

From the discussion:

Question: How is data being used to improve healthcare, and what are the challenges we are facing to bring data together to improve patient health? Answer (Maninder): Work with physicians to manage all aspects of patient care. Single place to see the longitude of the patient health. Data is only as valuable as what and how the people who collect the data use it. It is not enough to just make data available. You have to understand the context in which people are making decisions. What is the data that is actually driving the decision making? The old process was to collect, make it accurate and figure out how to make it useful. We need to now flip that to figure out what data is actually useful, then collect it.

Among other themes, speakers addressed the edge case for understanding the needs of healthcare data systems. Discussion focused on opportunities to address key issues in meaningful ways, with special attention paid to collaboration between different participants, including patients, providers, technologists, hospitalists, and payors.

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF is a member of the National Institutes of Health-funded Clinical and Translational Science Awards network focusing on accelerating research to improve health. The Institute provides services for researchers at every stage, and promotes online collaboration and networking through UCSF Profiles.