I spent last week (9/10-9/12) attending the Orion Health 2013 North American Healthcare Collaborative with a colleague and a collection of HIE companies, clients, and various state health departments. Held at the picturesque Mount Washington Resort in New Hampshire, this was the first time that both Orion user groups in North America (U.S. and Canada) had come together in one location. This allowed for very interesting discussions with various perspectives on different challenges faced in each respective market. The main theme recurring throughout the conference was “Big Data” and how it needs to be accessible and accurate in order to be useful.
The first keynote address; “From Patient Engagement to Continuing Medical Education: Understanding the Interplay of Big Data and Personal Health Technology,” presented by Jesse Hirsh (Internet Strategist, Researcher and Broadcaster Metaviews Media Management Ltd), introduced the term “technological literacy” relating to providers as well as patients. Traditionally, the main criteria for choosing a doctor are bedside manner and medical knowledge. With the emergence and since wide adoption of Health IT within health care facilities, a third criteria has been created: technological literacy. Literacy enables a patient to become a valuable stakeholder in their own health (through Patient Portals, email access to their providers, and online communities). I know it sounds crazy that patients haven’t always had an active say in their healthcare but it’s true. Some patients instead of empowering themselves through the gathering of information just want to be taken care of. Jesse went on to say that Canada will become a two tier healthcare system: Literate (patients/doctors) and Illiterate. I believe that this is true for the United Stated healthcare system as well.
Following the theme of “Big Data”, Jesse outlined the concept of continued learning as the new norm. And only when you are able to “filter through the noise” will the use of social media vastly improve your knowledge base. Although at times cluttered, social media is a form of AI created by its very users. Due to the vastness of data being aggregated and being made available to clinicians, advanced analytics will rise to greater importance if stakeholders want to use the data effectively.
The second keynote address; “Everyone Performs Better When They are Better Informed,” presented by Dave deBronkart (e-Patient Dave: author, blogger, health policy advisor, and cancer survivor) focused on patient engagement and forging a partnership with your provider. Dave went on to state that the least utilized source of information in healthcare is the patient, even though they are the largest stakeholder. A modern day successful health care system is a learning health care system. By encouraging patients to be informed and engaged, patient-clinician partnerships are created promote the inclusion of patients, families, and other caregivers as vital members of the continuously learning care team. Lastly, Dave attributed some of his own recovery to the notion that people perform better when they’re informed better. He took the time to understand his treatment options, possible side effects, and history of success. Dave filtered through the Big Data with the help of his provider as well as his peers and became a literate stakeholder in his own healthcare.
In the afternoons I was able to attend a number of breakout sessions which outlined Orion’s future plans and development efforts around their product suite. Talks were focused on the improvement of flexible data modeling, methods to accelerate participant onboarding/adoption in the HIE arena, an overview of evolving data requirements in Health IT with the key areas of focus for Orion’s Clinical Data strategy, and lastly updates of the Rhapsody Integration Engine along with plans for steady rollouts to provide new features and bug fixes.
In summary, it became clear that Orion is in an effective position to meet the new challenges being presented by the ever changing healthcare landscape and has molded their future plans around the concept of making “Big Data” accessible and accurate to promote literacy for providers and patients alike.