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By Fraser Hughes, Head of IT Innovations & Business Intelligence, Genesiscare
Nature’s ecosystem gives us an incredible reference, understanding, and viewpoint of how components and systems are shaped to interact and work together to build communities of information, energy, and nutrient sharing. Now, while humans are often effective at disrupting ecosystems and collapsing parts of them, we need to use and apply the principles to the healthcare system when we think about holistic care for patients and, ultimately, all of us.
Through the development of technology, we have digitized patient records and developed electronic medical records (EMRs) moving mostly away from paper-driven hospitals and clinics. The goal of these digital systems was to enable more effective care for patients, through reducing errors, improving quality of treatment, and removing unnecessary tasks for clinical staff. Unfortunately, the realization of these benefits is still lacking that causes extreme frustration for clinicians and an estimated 80 percent of unstructured data, leading to a lack of insights and preventing the potential for scaled analysis.
We have constructed our world to have 14 satellites orbiting earth, providing us the ability to pinpoint our exact location within seconds. An 83- year old cancer patient with no family support should not need to stumble through a complex diagnostic and treatment journey involving multiple specialists and various tests, we need to construct our world for it to be clear and straight forward with the right level of support.
We need to design healthcare ecosystems to deliver a seamless exchange of information through improved system interoperability, a common language, and innovative approaches to the sharing of patient data. Navigating these challenges is a must simply due to the fact patients need to receive the best care and feel supported through their treatment journey and for this to be achieved patients, providers, partners, and payors need the right information at the right time and in the right format.
The estimated 80 percent of unstructured data within EMR’s means we have an untapped ocean full of knowledge we can not access without intensive human capital to sift through and draw out clinical insights. Can computers interpret our intent and meaning? Natural language processing (NLP) is showing promising results in various fields, and this is now translating into the medical field with the hope we can convert our unstructured reports and notes into distinct data, turning that data into information and knowledge for our patients and clinical teams.
Connecting people through technology is what patients want and need. Patients want to be informed, help make decisions, feel part of the care team, have access to community groups, and understand their progress. Through transforming patient experience, we can support patients navigate the often complex treatment journey and utilize data captured by them out of the clinic to track their progress.
Through transforming how we capture, integrate, manage, and utilize clinical data, we can begin developing complete patient profiles and by incorporating outcomes measurements from patients we can begin to truly provide decision support to physicians. The advancement of disease understanding is moving at a fast pace, along with the complexity of patient treatments we need to compliment clinical decisions made by physicians with insights and support from AI. The human brain is not evolving fast enough to consume and hold the amount of data needed.
Imagine a world where all medical records could communicate securely across a common platform utilizing AI to continuously optimize care management globally for all patients and inform new medical practice.