Healthcare organizations in Australia and New Zealand are struggling to harness the power of data and analytics to improve clinical and patient outcomes due to their inability to share data seamlessly and in real time. To address this challenge, healthcare leaders in the region are calling for standardization of data sharing, according to a new report.
New a study commissioned by InterSystems sought to understand the current state of healthcare analytics and interoperability at ANZ. Conducted by technical consultancy Ecosystm, the survey gathered responses from 180 healthcare executives in the region.
Based on the survey, nearly eight out of 10 healthcare organizations surveyed consider analytics to be a top priority in their business. They primarily expect analytics solutions to help identify patient risks, reduce clinical errors, improve patient outcomes and experience, and reduce costs.
For 2022-2023, ANZ health organizations said they will focus on the following key technology areas: EMR refresh, cloud IT optimization, clinical analytics and AI and data interoperability.
Although they have the will to pursue digital transformation through the use of data and analytics, these organizations are still underutilizing the vast amount of data at their disposal.
1. More than 50% of key stakeholders do not fully trust data.
2. Data quality and access restriction are successful.
Most organizations lack the ability to share real-time data and integrate disparate enterprise data exchange systems. They also lack a single source of truth for all data.
While about half of organizations are able to use hospital clinical data in their healthcare analytics solutions, only 41% can analyze data from diagnostic systems and only 38% can analyze patient administration data. About a third of them have outpatient clinical data available for analysis. In addition, almost a quarter can analyze text from communication systems or log files, and 18% can use data from sensors or medical devices for analysis.
3. Organizations’ data strategies may be outdated.
Most healthcare organizations have been on a data journey long before they realized they needed a strategy to support them. Only 33% have a core digital transformation strategy.
4. Organizations analyze limited data.
The report notes that this is because multiple datasets are not interoperable and cannot interact with each other. Their clinicians are only able to make clinical decisions using “only a fraction” of the total data their organization has access to.
5. Organizations’ data strategies are hampered by business challenges.
Their top three challenges include not having enough skilled IT staff, securing budget and not having staff with clinical and analytical skills.
Recognizing their limitations, nearly seven in 10 healthcare organizations now want to see standardization of data exchange; about half want access to real-time data; and over a third want to improve transactional workflows across the continuum of care.
InterSystems notes that 11% of healthcare organizations in ANZ currently use FHIR-enabled data exchange, while around 67% use more than one interoperability method. The study also notes that three in 10 organizations are looking for standards-based methods of interoperability, including IHE-certified data exchange, HL7/X12 interface engines and FHIR-enabled data exchange.
THE BIGGER TREND
In Australia, health authorities are pursuing their National Health Interoperability Plan to enable a more connected Australian health system by 2027. Recently, the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) partnered with Health Level Seven Australia to promote the consistent adoption of FHIR standards in healthcare settings.
A a center of excellence for Australian health connectivity is also being established through ADHA’s collaboration with the Australian eHealth Research Center under CSIRO. It will create a world-class terminology service and capability in Australia through the National Clinical Terminology Service.
“The road to healthcare interoperability has been difficult. Obstacles include multiple jurisdictions and a complex mix of public/private healthcare. But out of this ordeal came FHIR, a huge breakthrough in healthcare data standards that our research shows is on the cusp of mass adoption of FHIR will increase the data available for analytics and enable data-driven care initiatives to solve the challenges facing our healthcare systems,” said InterSystems ANZ manager Darren Jones.