Saturday, October 13, 2012

Intelligent Healthcare & Integration

Integration is more than the coding of application or data interfaces. When dealing with complex integration within or across enterprises, there must be sufficient discipline to achieve reproducible results. Furthermore, that discipline must be tailored to the unique requirements of the domain/s in question. Few domains are as complex as Healthcare. Even more important perhaps is that integration cannot be viewed outside of the context of the outcomes within the domains they are meant to serve. Technical success may not translate to process or performance improvement if the relationships between domain goals and enabling technologies aren’t properly understood. Some of the basic concepts associated with our Intelligent Healthcare include the following:
  • Semantic Correlation – This concept is focused upon the realization that every data structure is based upon Semantics. This includes every data schema, every exchange protocol, all medical terminology etc. Semantic Correlation is a mechanism to bridge various data structures with minimal integration. This can be applied to both systems integration as well Program Lifecycle Management. 
  • Federated Lifecycle Management – large healthcare Organizations must manage dozens of projects simultaneously. Many of these projects fit within research or organizational themes or sets. These themes also often correspond to larger themes involving many other external organizations. The problem that has plagued organizations trying to facilitate initiatives across domains is how to manage projects that aren’t actually under their control. Federated Lifecycle Management is both a philosophy and automation approach that attacks the problem through improved collaboration and community defined guidelines. It builds upon a core set of shared ‘project’ and/or community Semantics to help define and manage requirements that it in turn provides the basis for more sophisticated support elements.
  • Patient Centric Performance – Our stakeholder community is made up of caregivers and information technology providers. However, the true stakeholder community which underlies all Healthcare activities is the patient community. While we are obliged to meet various service level obligations on a systems level, the ultimate objectives must always include a perspective on patient outcomes. This requires a somewhat different philosophy for performance metrics of Healthcare solutions. The importance of this change cannot be understated – until we define how the technology can or should facilitate specific outcomes, it will be difficult to achieve those outcomes with any assured regularity.
It is entirely likely that the amount of data that Healthcare providers will have to manage in five years will be exponentially larger than today’s set. This data growth will tax both our infrastructure and the practice of Healthcare itself. All medical outcomes are based upon access to accurate and readily available information. Issues related to system connectivity, response time and accuracy are likely to impact Healthcare provision negatively if new approaches to Healthcare information management are not developed quickly. These types of issues have already been experienced in several major DoD and Federal healthcare initiatives.

Integration is one of the primary challenges in today's Healthcare solutions...
Our primary problem is increasing complexity. The solution must be squarely aimed at how that problem will evolve over the next decade, rather than focus solely upon mastery of the past decade’s technology. This “capability gap” can only be bridged through adoption of an evolutionary Healthcare integration philosophy.

Copyright 2012, Semantech Inc. All rights Reserved


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