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Technology Healthcare

Standards Are Great, But They Are At Risk Of Becoming Extinct

By Cliff Cavanaugh

The Observation

Developing and adopting industry-defined data standards has long been recognized as the only way to organize and categorize massive amounts of information to be used in various ways for multiple platforms. On the surface this seems pragmatic and necessary for one system to understand and exchange information with another system, but as we see technology progress I believe we'll observe that strict standards may become more limiting than they are helpful.

Obsolete (1)
Obsolete support group

The Reality

The adoption of innovative technology in health IT, although gaining speed, cannot keep up with the digital appetite to process information in a comprehensive way.

The current state of health IT is counter-productive to how big data platforms are best utilized. For example, as mentioned in a previous post, a physician’s dictated notes may have elements of information that cannot be neatly categorized into a set standard, yet the mission of EHR adoption was to replace sentences with menu selections.

The Future 

So, what do you do with a good concept-centered care plan that doesn’t fit into set standardsYou embrace natural language processing, which is changing the digital landscape.

The ability to dissect the context of a statement and not only determine the meaning but take a step forward and recommend a course of action, efficiently and effectively streamlines the process to realizing desired outcomes.

Patients are consumers of healthcare and consumers are accustomed, in any other industry, to have that industry anticipate and meet or exceed their needs, even if those needs are unknown to them.

Personal digital assistants are a great example of tech getting better at understanding and interpreting what a person really wants without forcing them to adopt a new standard of communication. Whether you ask about what to wear for the day or if you are going to need an umbrella, personal digital assistants understand you really want to know the weather forecast for the day and respond accordingly.

It’s the same in healthcare. If we want results-oriented answers culled from massive amounts of data, we must think outside the box. For instance, by making medical records available to emerging patient-centered outcome programming possibilities, a comprehensive patient-centered service can be provided.

Clinical decision support is fueled on data sets of doctor’s notes that need to be properly interpreted.

The extinction of standards is not necessarily a bad thing, it should be seen as the birth of the accessibility of data previously trapped in an EHR. Unleashing the power of this information, will enable us to build a link to innovation.

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by Cliff Cavanaugh

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