Who’s Minding the (Data) Store?

By: Denise Hammel

The shift in focus toward population-level data analysis and modeling has increased industry-wide. However, as the focus shifts toward macro data, we are noticing the glaringly obvious gaps in integrity of what is being mined.

Who’s ultimately looking at the data origin?

Who’s accountable to ensure that data provided to so many external systems possess the integrity it should?

I think the answer may lie in how we have shifted as an industry to the concepts of “big data,” population health, and business intelligence without shifting as organizations. In other words, and this goes back to a concept I have mentioned in other blogs, we have implemented solutions without examining the key roles, responsibilities, and workflows surrounding these solutions.

Often, the expertise to examine data and root cause issues already exist within our senior-level informaticians. However, we don’t always use them or view them in this capacity. The revised Standards and Scope of Informatics Practice should provide some insight into how this role is leveraged in this capacity. To me it goes deeper than that. Clinicians are by nature, very good at understanding data. They have performed this function as part of their clinical care delivery since the inception of their career. Should it not be an obvious transition then to have these individuals focus on and work with the clinical data that emerges from internal and external systems to the organization? As the Informatician’s role in implementation decreases, there remains an extremely valuable and often overlooked function for this role to perform.

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