So why am I writing about Big Data and EMR’s? Because the EMR you choose will have a direct impact on how you can leverage the data it collects for really MEANINGFUL data outcomes. What do I mean by this? Let me explain.
Imagine a world where you can leverage the combined data of your EMR, PHR and CRM tools to automatically calculate a reliable risk score for patients that are discharged who maybe re-admitted? Would that not be cool?
Imagine a world where the data from an EMR can automatically calculate the potential that a patient would experience and adverse event post discharge based upon the amalgamation of data provided by not only the hospital systems but by open source data elements currently available online?
Guess what? Imagine no longer. The EMR you select can have a DIRECT impact on multiple big data outcomes. Why? because API’s are gold. Gold meaning that they are the keys to the kingdom of data. Now what does this have to do with your EMR selection? Well alot.
So many EMR’s in the industry are antiquated and rely on old architectures. So these EMR’s have very little support for modern API’s. What they do have are old systems design to try and pipe data through modern API’s. This results in a poor data via a poor interface that is not scalable nor is it cheap. Modern EMR’s have nice, new API’s that are fresh off the farm that allow you (sometimes at no additional charge) to exchange large chunks of data with other systems. This is what I mean as gold.
I called on one client the other day who listed off an EMR they used. I asked them, “does your EMR have a native HL7 feed?”. The client said he would check. So no longer than a day goes by and the EMR company says, “yes, we support HL7 native and can exchange data at no cost”. SCORE! This is what I expect from any EMR vendor. LIBRATE THE DATA!
So What Would I Use For My Health IT Big Data Solution?
I am in love with what I call the “Big Data Trifecta” which includes leveraging two amazing open source tools: Pentaho and HADOOP hosted by Cloudera. Whats nice is that finally commercial industry big time players are adopting a full open source stack to do something very meaningful. Pentaho is a business intelligence tool that is free and easy to use and HADOOP is a cluster architecture designed to help manage large data sets. Both together are magic.