Health Data Consortium CEO: Barriers to full use of health data must be overcome

Healthcare's progress when it comes to data use has grown by leaps and bounds, but that doesn't mean all barriers have been overcome, according to Chris Boone, CEO of Health Data Consortium.

"While much has been accomplished in a relatively short time," Boone writes in a Health Affairs Blog post. "This is just the start to a greater movement."

However, policies, regulations and a lack of standards all stand in the way of using data to improve health, he says.

The industry must address privacy concerns as well as updates necessary for HIPAA in regard to devices and platforms that live outside of the regulatory framework, according to Boone.

Privacy, too, is a great worry for healthcare consumers, he says, and sharing of that data is among their concerns.

While most adults are confident in the privacy and security of their medical records, many express concerns about sharing of information between providers, according to research from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

When it comes to addressing data issues, Boone says, the work can't be done in silos--private and public partners need to work together.

For innovation to continue, information must be liberated and put in the hands of innovators, "data liquidity" must happen for a free flow of information and privacy of that data must be paramount, he adds.

However, despite challenges to data-driven healthcare, many organizations are using access to information to their benefit.

For example, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, along with UPMC, recently created a Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance, which is committed to creating new data-based innovations.

In addition, Susquehanna Health, a central Pennsylvania system, used a deep-dive data analytics solution to create roadmaps for improvements that could be made financially, clinically and operationally.

To learn more:
- here's the Health Affairs post