National Post (Latest Edition)
Canadian healthcare: An rx for a better data Strategy
Digital technology is helping businesses use data to improve processes and personalize customer experiences. Canada’s healthcare system, however, hasyet to join this digital transformation.
“Instead, patient data is stuckin silos, with information residing with different clinicians, service providers, and provincial ministries ,” says Michael Billanti, Director of population Health at Cerner Canada.
“We need data architecture that allows us to derive intelligence at all levels — the patient level, city, region, health system, and ministry level— at the same time, so people can learn from it and act quickly and proactively,” he says.
What Billanti describes is population health management, which aims to improve the health of a population by engaging patients at both the individual and population levels. Population health tools combine data to provide a comprehensive picture of each patient, giving real- time information to health care providers, administrators, and the government to identify and solve health care challenges.
A good data strategy improves care
While this technology exists, challenges in creating a national or provincial data strategy include variation in data governance rules and processes, an inconsistent application of privacy legislation, and an over all lackof accountability for population health.
“There are a variety of strategies and maturity levels across the country. Canada has lagged in adopting technology and disruptive innovations,” says Jim Shave, President of Cerner Canada, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for improved digital infrastructure and data sharing.
For example, in the united kingdom, the National Health Service is using the population health tool Cerner Healtheintent® to identify groups, such as isolated senior sand people with compromised immune systems, who must stay home due to an increased risk OF COVID-19. They used this information to setup programs to ensure that theyhave food and medications delivered and that they have an outreach person perform health and well-being checks.
“The information is helping ensure the people who need extra support are receiving it and are not left behind,” says Shave. “They can do all of this because they have the right data strategy.”