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Data Integration in Healthcare: Challenges and Solutions

Data Integration in Healthcare: Challenges and Solutions

A big technological shift has hit healthcare systems. And the impact can be seen everywhere. 

The impact of the technological change affects more than medical procedures: just as healthcare providers are attempting to ride the wave of innovation to provide the best care to patients, so, too, are healthcare giants striving to leverage benefits of the opportunities presented by big data and data integration, harnessing information to garner valuable insights and grow revenue. 

Only 56 per cent of healthcare units can rely on utilizing all their data streams properly. This means that nearly half of the healthcare industry is missing out. Because of these limitations, healthcare units are losing approximately $342 billion. 

Even though there is an obvious need to integrate data in healthcare, there are considerable hurdles to cross. In this blog post, we’ll discuss top data integration challenges and ways to resolve them. 

Data Integration Challenges Faced by Healthcare Revealed 

 • Lack of a standard data format is one of the challenges faced by healthcare organizations today. 

Over the years healthcare organizations have accumulated various data formats, some incompatible with systems and other data.  

Healthcare data is fragmented, coming from different sources in different formats. Moreso, healthcare is known for its outdated, expensive, on-premises data warehouses. These systems cannot “talk” to each other, nor new data sources. Without a unified solution, healthcare IT departments will have to struggle to automate processes, keep up with swift changes in the marketplace, and offer consolidated data to decision-makers.

Healthcare companies can resolve this solution by using a modern data integration platform that allows users to consolidate data into a data lake, where it can be used to leverage insights. These solutions allow users to integrate all types of data, in various formats in minutes to speed up insights delivery and decision-making, while freeing technical teams to ride the wave of healthcare innovation.

• No holistic approach taken to manage data is another. Quite often, the individuals who process a given set of data are not the same people who use the data. Consequently, during the transition, essential details can get missed. What is more, data could get misused if it lands in the wrong hands. Due to these risks, IT predominantly manages database access. That refrains IT from focusing on taking up a strategic role, slowing innovation and growth. 

Self-service integration platforms act as a guiding star here. These solutions empower non-technical users to execute and manage data-driven operations while enabling IT to take up the role of governance and ride the innovation wave. 

• Misconceptions in data exchange and data privacy also create problems for healthcare units. Some healthcare units do not possess a complete understanding of laws regarding data confidentiality and privacy. Data must be safeguarded from illegal access and tampering, but it needs to be shared under specific circumstances. Balancing these two concerns is tricky but it’s not impossible. 

By ensuring an end-to-end encrypted environment, healthcare units can minimize the chances of data breaches while allowing only authenticated users to access data. This way data remains in safe hands. 

• Data inconsistency across applications needs to be addressed to boot. It’s almost impossible for one application to address all the needs of a healthcare unit. It’s more than likely that they would rely on several applications to serve their various users. The information among these apps should be consistent to ensure sensible data-driven insights. 

Companies can rely on next-level data integration systems to enable that. By enabling users to integrate multiple applications and data, they can deliver accurate insights — easily and securely. 

Data integration underpins healthcare success. Not only does it enable users to consolidate all kinds of data but also facilitate speedy insights delivery to drive decision-making and provide the best possible patient experiences.