Not only is good data the key to effective population health programs, but it is also essential to the kind of the seamless customer experience healthcare organizations are seeking to deliver in increasingly competitive markets. We can do big data number crunching, sophisticated risk modeling and all kinds of advanced analytics but it will be useless if the underlying data is not complete, normalized and accurate.

Health systems, health plans, health information exchanges and the like are complex macrosystems with critical data coming in from a wide range of disparate internal and external systems, and going out to be used for a wide variety of needs. Even the most monolithic, single EHR/HIS organizations in the world cannot escape the complexity of feeds and formats from ancillary systems, devices, partners and others that are constantly changing as new versions, devices and use cases emerge. Today, those systems are generally not interoperable in any meaningful way, creating a significant challenge to assembling and managing clean data for analysis and action.

Achieving effective interoperability among HIT systems has proved to be quite a challenge in our industry. The noble initiatives of standards bodies, governmental entities and non-profit organizations ultimately flounder against the fact that HIT vendors are unwilling or unable to invest the time and resources required while the market is still maturing. The investment required and the benefits of limited interoperability to preserve market share and differentiation far outweigh other pressures.

So, in the face of persistent data complexity and vendor incompatibility, the only way to ensure access to the comprehensive accurate data we need to feed the pop health machine, is to make the interoperability happen somewhere else. At Orion Health, we are making that happen with a robust and open platform (we actually call it our “Open Platform”) that can handle the diversity and dynamism of interfaces, the logical processing requirements of data transformation and normalization, and formatting and presentation to the analytics, care coordination and other components that constitute the overall population health system.

We are focused on developing technology that is intelligent enough to understand data request and retrieve the proper subsets of information for the doctor at the point-of-care, the patient on a mobile device, the risk management analyst in his cube and every other participant in the continuum of population care. There is a need for access to a rich data sets across the system. Our goal is to build an increasingly intelligent layer over the health organization's existing technologies to make the right information available to the right people at the right time.

Orion Health Open Platform is robust and massively scalable, facilitating a comprehensive persistence framework for healthcare data. Its Open APIs enable organizations to develop niche applications that can be used to boost engagement and help target specific patient conditions. In addition, the Open API management layer securely exposes parts of the rich patient record to other business services to enhance workflows and address the linear scale required to support new forms of data, from wearables genetic data and other new high-volume data sources. The Open Platform will utilize custom and standards-based APIs, such as FHIR, to integrate data with EHRs or other third party systems without the heavyweight requirements needed today. By providing care providers with this control, we open up the ability for healthcare organizations to solve the problems that have been plaguing the industry for so long and take case management and care coordination to the next level.