Fairview Health Services CIO: Give Patients Their Data - InformationWeek

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10/9/2015
10:05 AM
David Wagner
David Wagner
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Fairview Health Services CIO: Give Patients Their Data

Frustrated with a fragmented system that doesn't give caregivers or patients access to full patient data, the CIO of Fairview Health Services has the beginnings of a plan.

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At this week's Gartner Symposium, Alistair Jacques, CIO Fairview Health Services, asked us to imagine what would happen if we had our entire health history in the palm of our hands.

Jacques painted a picture of a customer-centric healthcare system with better patient outcomes and even better ones for hospitals and clinics. Why hasn't this happened? We lack one crucial thing -- a central identification number for patients.

A central ID number does sound a bit scary given the number of healthcare breaches in both the federal government and healthcare industries.

Alistair Jacques, CIO, Fairview Health

(Image: David Wagner)

Alistair Jacques, CIO, Fairview Health

(Image: David Wagner)

A lost laptop could expose thousands of poorly kept numbers and the sensitive data attached to them to the Internet. But Jacques asks you to look at it this way, "Healthcare is already subject to the most attacks," Jacques said, "One estimate places it at 21% of all attacks. We are one of the most open industries in the world. Data is already vulnerable, and the patient has no way of controlling their own data."

In Jacques' mind, controlling your own data makes all of this worthwhile. While the US is currently number one in healthcare spending, the World Health Organization ranks the US 37th in capability, according to Jacques. He cited other studies that rank the US even lower. According to Jacques, the US spends over 17% of its GDP on healthcare. Compare that to France, the number one nation for health, which only spends 11%.

[Discover how big data could save lives.]

Jacques credits many flaws in the system for this situation, but most can be helped, if not entirely eliminated, with better exchange and control of data with a customer-centric focus.

For instance, one major cost is poor reconciliation of services.

A patient might get lab work done at a clinic, transfer to a hospital, and have to get the same test done again,

Page 2: What's stopping it?

David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Enterpriseefficiency.com. Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio
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