The healthcare industry has its own language. It consists of clinical jargon, an endless list of acronyms and buzzwords that are too vaguely defined to have much meaning.
A panel of health data experts broke down some of the most common health buzzwords on Sunday at HLTH 2022 in Las Vegas. While panelists agreed that many industry professionals still struggle to understand the true meaning of words and phrases like “interoperability” and “reimagining healthcare,” experts said these terms can be quite meaningful after being unpacked.
Troy Bannister, CEO of Healthcare API Platform Particle health, joked that interoperability “literally means nothing because no one can agree on what it means.” To him, the term refers to “the right data at the right place at the right time.”
Interoperability is a difficult thing to achieve because it requires different healthcare stakeholders to be on the same page and align their incentives, Bannister pointed out. He noted that there has been a “huge regulatory push” over the past few years to address this problem.
The federal government introduced two key rules last year that will play a big role in advancing interoperability, according to Bannister. The first one is Section 4004 of the 21st Century Cures Act, which allows HHS to step in and stop information-blocking practices that impede legally viable requests for health data. It’s the second A trusted framework for exchange and common agreementrule that will go into effect in early 2023. It aims to establish a universal threshold for interoperability in the U.S.
“These two rules combined will create a very different playing field for moving information from different stakeholders,” Bannister said.
Rethinking Health Care
Komodo Health CEO Arif Natu said he likes the phrase “reimagining healthcare” because it “allows all of us to sound like our work really matters and motivates people to really do something that we all think is good for society.” .
For Nathoo, the phrase refers to the idea that providers and other healthcare companies are identifying the patterns that lead to poor health outcomes and working to address those patterns with the right technology.
Aashima Gupta, Googlethe global director of healthcare solutions agreed. She said the phrase refers to efforts by healthcare companies to use their knowledge and data in a way that makes Americans’ healthcare experiences more “affordable, accessible and enjoyable.”
Data science is about extracting insights from data, according to Najat Khan, Jansen‘c chief data science officer.
“Data alone is not useful unless you derive insights to help you make decisions to improve health care or a patient’s life,” she said.
When healthcare stakeholders talk about data science, they’re referring to their efforts to extract trends from data so they can deliver better outcomes, according to Hahn. This can take many forms, from examining patient data to understand what causes Alzheimer’s to analyzing hospital admission data to determine how preventable emergency room visits can be avoided.
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