The Truth Behind the Numbers
Data fragmentation is prevalent across the healthcare industry. It is a known challenge to all businesses big and small. There is no shortage of data. In fact, so much information exists that the question becomes how do you take such large volumes of information that change dynamically, from distinctly different sources with different clinical definitions and make sense of it all?
Since all data has nuances, the best way to begin to examine data is holistically. This approach enables one to arrive at a single version of the truth, and should be at the core to establish credibility.
For example, a pill versus an injection of the same drug may yield different dose reports and that information needs to be broken down into comparable dosages, otherwise you are not comparing apples to apples. The same rule applies for time periods. If this is not addressed, the fragmentation of information increases in complexity because you are not using a common denominator. It is exceptionally important to accommodate this requirement otherwise your reports will have little or no value.
Data impacts decisions globally and companies have become better at acknowledging that differences exist in its collection, reporting and valuations. They are working to enhance their methodologies to accommodate these differences in order to remain competitive.
Solely focusing on the data does not address the bigger issue. In cases of Real World Data, prospective or retrospective research benefits from observations covering time periods of at least 12 months. Additionally, talking to and genuinely understanding how the data supports the various needs of end users is critical.
Having a comprehensive understanding of the end users' requirements allows for a service-focused and service-driven approach. The way you consider the problem is important and sets the stage for the solution leveraged to addresses it. It cannot be a point-in-time solution and must be designed to accommodate business requirements that change over time. It needs to be a dynamic solution that will answer questions you may not have even thought of yet. This is the service versus project thinking approach.
So, in order to create reports that are granular enough for individuals but also provide relevant high-level insight for organizational leaders, a platform is needed that allows for ad hoc analysis. An approach that is fixed in nature, will not work.
The capability to access data and to offer flexibility in the types of questions you can answer is paramount to ongoing success. This approach provides the ability to pivot and change direction or requirements based on the needs of the recipient. This should be thought of as chess and not checkers. The variables change all the time. A flexible system that can accommodate data that is in a constant state of flux is a necessity to keep up with the changes in organizations and across the industry.
Delivering your solution is not just operational. User acceptance and ongoing usage is paramount. Global organizations have very distinct models that must be met on three distinct levels: the global level, the country-specific level and the local level. Depending on the company, one or all three might need to be met simultaneously.
Managing volumes of data can be more than challenging; the key is being able to unlock the value of the data through customizable definitions and calculations so end users gain access to appropriately granular levels of detail. It's a business process built on an open architecture that helps to address ever-changing global needs.