Bet­ter reg­u­la­tion, not more, needed to boost data an­a­lyt­ics

Modern Healthcare - - COMMENT -

Re­gard­ing the ar­ti­cle “Data collection could stump next wave of pre­dic­tive an­a­lyt­ics” (Mod­ern Health­care Ac­count­able Care Sur­vey, July 14), it’s a very good ar­ti­cle, cap­tur­ing many in­stances of data an­a­lyt­ics that il­lus­trate the ben­e­fits and the chal­lenges in this bur­geon­ing area.

The chal­lenges to data an­a­lyt­ics, as noted, al­most al­ways in­volve the lack of stan­dards—ei­ther for the data def­i­ni­tions them­selves or for the di­ver­sity of tech­nol­ogy used to cap­ture the data. This lack of reg­u­lar­ity and stan­dard­iza­tion is some­thing data ag­gre­ga­tors face at nearly ev­ery step of the process.

I want to re­cast the so­lu­tion, how­ever, away from the ques­tion of “more vs. less” govern­ment reg­u­la­tion. More reg­u­la­tion isn’t what’s needed. Bet­ter reg­u­la­tion re­sult­ing in stan­dards that ev­ery tech­nol­ogy com­pany can build to­ward would help im­mensely. If those com­mon stan­dards arise from a wide­spread ven­dor col­lab­o­ra­tive, great. But we’ve waited on that for some time.

What’s needed is a gov­ern­men­tal panel that can con­vene the ma­jor play­ers, lis­ten to their ad­vice, but still hold them ac­count­able to reach con­sen­sus and elim­i­nate the labyrinth of ex­ist­ing reg­u­la­tions, and the mine­field of pro­pri­etary stan­dards that make data shar­ing, ag­gre­ga­tion and, ul­ti­mately, anal­y­sis so dif­fi­cult.

Patrick Casey Health IT con­sul­tant

Ar­ling­ton, Texas

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