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Financial constraints and Data Security are common challenges for healthcare and life sciences organizations. While the information technology departments in both industries face shrinking budgets, fewer staff resources and an increasing number of threats, the financial implications of not investing in data solutions that address healthcare and life sciences’ specific integration and management needs can be significant.
In the Sixth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy & Security of Healthcare Data, the Poneman Institute estimates that healthcare data breaches affected records that contain protected health information (PHI) cost the healthcare and life sciences industries $6.2 billion a year. The per record cost of a healthcare data breach was calculated to be $402 per record – considerably more than the life sciences industry, which was in second place with costs of $301 per record.
Protecting electronic PHI has become more difficult in the healthcare sector as health systems grow to encompass physician practices, clinics and multiple hospitals that must all share data from disparate systems. In the life sciences industry, the growth in outsourcing research and manufacturing activities also increases the need for seamless, secure communications among a variety of organizations with different systems.
Not all data integration and management solutions address the communications challenges faced by healthcare and life sciences organizations at the same level. While these organizations require many of the same business insights that businesses in other industries require, regulatory requirements and the impact their actions have on the end-user – the patient – call for a more robust approach to data integration and management and a solution that is specific to healthcare and life sciences.
Although shrinking budgets in both industries might place investment in healthcare data solutions low on the “to-do” list for the organization, the reality is that prioritizing healthcare data solutions to integrate and manage data from disparate sources, can actually improve Data Security and increase profitability.
How is Data Security Improved?
All businesses must protect consumer information but a very specific set of rules govern the privacy and security of electronic PHI. Selecting a data integration and management solution that is built to address the myriad of rules included in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is critical to protect data while at rest or in transit.
Selecting a Cloud-based platform to handle healthcare and life sciences data integration eliminates the need to invest in new infrastructure, and a predictable, subscription-based pricing model that includes managed services provides access to highly skilled technical employees who are not only knowledgeable about the technology but also up to date on compliance with HIPAA and other applicable regulations.
Although all healthcare and life sciences organizations must implement privacy and security processes to safeguard PHI throughout the business at department, site and employee-specific level, selecting a technology vendor with expertise specific to protection of data regularly collected and shared in healthcare and life sciences business operations provides protection at the integration level.
How is Profitability Improved?
In addition to taking steps to prevent data breaches and their associated costs, the ability to easily share data among different business units, physician practices, contract research organizations or other entities within the healthcare or life sciences ecosystem supports a number of positive, profitable benefits.
The ability to access longitudinal health records – that contain all up-to-date health and medical information on a patient – in real-time enables physicians to more accurately diagnosis and treat patients with no need to duplicate costly tests or repeat previous, ineffective treatments.
Performance improvement or population health management initiatives are more effective when data from multiple systems – clinical, operational and financial – can be combined to provide a more holistic look at processes and outcomes that cut expenses for a positive effect on the bottom line.
Life sciences companies can improve communications with contract research organizations – ensuring visibility into all research, develop and manufacturing process to improve the time to market for new drugs and devices. Marketing and sales teams also have greater to access to data from multiple sources that were previously siloed – operational and financial – to develop insights into new market opportunities.
A next generation Cloud platform that solves healthcare and life sciences integration, interoperability and Data Management challenges, is a solution for both industries. Because it is designed specifically for healthcare and life sciences, it supports the diverse data and collaboration requirements that must be met to ensure success.
Today’s marketplace for healthcare and life sciences organizations is complex and always changing. From compliance with privacy and security regulations to ensuring value-based care that reflects collaboration among providers, patient engagement and cost-effective diagnosis and treatment protocols, the future is based on data that can provide actionable insight.