Patient Portals, A Stepwise Approach

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Here, David Linthicum discusses the importance of data integration in the realm of patient portals.

Data integration is an important aspect of heath data management. However, it’s often overlooked as a core health care I.T. strategy. This is largely due to the fact that we’re used to dealing with data integration as tactical one-off projects, using whatever mechanisms work to solve the problem.

Many providers have a bit of a mess on their hands when it comes to extracting and externalizing key information. There is no common integration approach or technology, and there is also no or little semantic understanding of the data, not to mention ownership, security, or governance.

The idea is to put some more architectural thinking around how we manage data movement in and between systems, data stores, and humans.

In the world of health care I.T., there is a focus on patient portals. These portals are built to meet meaningful use selections 170.304(h) and 170.306(d) provide patients with the ability to access clinical summaries, as well as health information. If the portals are well built, they facilitate communications with patients and doctors using a common set of data, and they put the data into a more understandable context for the doctor.

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Source:; David Linthicum; May 7, 2013.

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