MDM Supports Research, Care Coordination, and Health Information Exchange: A Winning Investment

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Creating higher value from existing investments (people, process and technology) is always top of mind as the complex healthcare ecosystem tries to improve quality and reduce costs. HIMSS15-Lorraine's Session

Healthix, a New York State regional data exchange organization that serves the greater New York City area, the Bronx RHIO, and IBM have embraced this priority, as illustrated by Healthix’s expanded use of their IBM MDM/EMPI software to link records to support a unified view of patient data for the New York City Clinical Delivery Research Network (NYC CDRN). Tom Check, CEO of Healthix, and I will be sharing this innovative approach at HIMSS on Thursday, April 16 at Trust in Regional Exchange Supports Patient-centered Research, SESSION 215.

The technical approach reconciles/links patient identities across the existing Healthix stakeholder data, adds the Bronx RHIO data, and de-identifies the new dataset through mapping of the patient identities to proxy identifiers, and applies date shifting to create anonymity. This multi-step process includes:

  1. Existing Healthix stakeholders’ patient data (approximately 20 demographic or facility level attributes) is linked in the IBM MDM instance to support the current health information exchange (HIE) priorities including care coordination, population health, and care delivery.
  2. A second instance of the IBM MDM was created for the NYC CDRN project. Healthix data is copied to this instance.
  3. Bronx RHIO demographic data is added to this second instance and the common patient population across all the stakeholders is identified using the same IBM MDM algorithm. The end result is a linkage set of unique patients that reflects Healthix and the Bronx RHIO, and the associated source systems where the patient data resides.
  4. A proxy identifier is assigned to the patient linkage sets, thus patient identifiable data is removed.
  5. Date shifting is applied to dates (birth, activity) represented in the linkage sets to preserve anonymity.
  6. Healthix and Bronx RHIO stakeholders (source system organizations) receive file of anonymized data values and identifiers that have been applied to the original data. This cross-walk is ONLY released to the facility that provided the original data.
  7. Healthix releases file (proxy identifiers, dates shifted) to New York Genomics Center.
  8. NY Genomics Center receives clinical data (with associated proxy identifiers and dates shifted) from the source system participants.
  9. Updates to the linkage sets are executed on a scheduled basis per the NYC cdrn requirements, and process is repeated.

This multi-step, iterative process supports several of the organizational goals, as well as more detailed privacy goals, as prescribed by the NYC CDRN and its participants.

  • Build technical infrastructure to facilitate the re-use of existing data and investments
  • Create infrastructure for strong governance and business operations
  • Establish legal foundation that protects privacy
  • Ensure accountability and coordination

The goals, process, and technology are all supporting a primary objective of this innovative research approach—building trust. A key constituent in building trust across the competitive healthcare stakeholders is the New York Genomics Institute, hence they are the only stakeholder that has all the clinical data, although this data only contains the proxy identifier and the date shifted data.

The resulting trust underpins the innovative research supported by clinicians, researchers, consumers, and the stakeholders. Only with this trust can research be expedited and the new knowledge applied more readily to today’s medical practices, consumers more directly engaged, and the historical barriers to collaborative research be broken down for the good of all.

It’s been a pleasure to work with Tom Check and the Healthix staff, and I hope you will join us at HIMSS 2015.

Please click here: IBM at HIMSS15 website for a preview of what you will see, request a private meeting or a hosted tour and to learn more about our MDM solutions for the healthcare industry. Visit us at HIMSS15, Booth #1425 to see how organizations are using data to drive new insights, new value and better outcomes. Join us in the conversation:

IBM Healthcare Twitter: @IBMHealthcare or #IBMHEALTHCARE

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We look forward to seeing you in Chicago, April 12-16 at HIMSS15!


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