Interoperability, cybersecurity, and operationalizing SDOH data priorities remain relevant throughout COVID-19 pandemic
The Health Care business of LexisNexis® Risk Solutions announced the results of its annual focus group, comprised of over 20 healthcare IT executives that are members of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). The focus group participants accepted more accountability than in previous years to provide the safe and reliable technology tools necessary to deliver high-quality, connected, and cost-effective care. The survey results also highlighted the importance of a team approach with support across the organization in helping CIOs achieve the vision of connected healthcare.
While the focus group came together before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the technology priorities for 2020 – from data sharing and security to using data analytics to help vulnerable populations – have become more urgent in light of the pandemic challenges. For example, recent months have illustrated the need for data access to inform decisions about population health, wellness and care capacity.
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The surveyed executives identified three main priority areas for 2020.
- Managing interoperability: Members acknowledged challenges amid the surge of digital touchpoints, such as mobile phones, smart devices and remote services. Goals include a common patient identifier to combine and verify disparate patient records for a true health information exchange.
- Bolstering cybersecurity: Members are confronting new cybersecurity risks, confusion over who bears the ultimate responsibility for patient data, and the competing goals of seamless user experience and data safety. To address that final challenge and strike an appropriate balance, executives are moving to multifactor authentication strategies for optimal user workflow and security.
- Integrating Social Determinants of Health (SDOH): As the pandemic has highlighted, incorporating SDOH data is a vital, immediate requirement for improving the delivery of patient support and value-based care, and ultimately, outcomes. Executives shared SDOH implementation challenges, including data aggregation and operationalization within IT and EHR systems, especially when not utilizing third-party data to support their efforts. While CIOs previously had not perceived specific accountability for SDOH data, that changed as its value was demonstrated.
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“CHIME’s executive health IT members are approaching evolving patient and industry needs with careful consideration, ingenuity and focus,” said Josh Schoeller, chief executive officer of LexisNexis Risk Solutions Health Care. “Our annual focus group presents valuable insights about how healthcare decision-makers are strategically using technology solutions to overcome hurdles regarding cybersecurity, data governance, and interoperability, all of which have become more urgent during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a big challenge but with the right data integration and analytics they continue to make great progress even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Also encouraging, focus group participants reported solid results when rallying support from stakeholders across the enterprise to participate in tough conversations about information security, privacy, operations, compliance, and clinical and accountable care.