Regenstrief brings 10M EHRs to Deloitte’s big data gathering

MedCity News has partnered with BioCrossroads to provide coverage focused on Indiana’s next generation of growth and innovation in life sciences. The Regenstrief Institute and its network of hospitals and providers across Indiana have teamed up with ConvergeHEALTH, an effort spearheaded by Deloitte that aims to offer comprehensive data sharing among key organizations. The informatics […]

MedCity News has partnered with BioCrossroads to provide coverage focused on Indiana’s next generation of growth and innovation in life sciences.

The Regenstrief Institute and its network of hospitals and providers across Indiana have teamed up with ConvergeHEALTH, an effort spearheaded by Deloitte that aims to offer comprehensive data sharing among key organizations.

The informatics and health research organization joins Utah’s Intermountain Healthcare and Florida’s Moffitt Cancer Center, which are already working with Deloitte as part of the industry-wide shift toward more efficient, more informed care based on data collaboration.

“The worst thing that can happen to data is nothing,” said Micheal Murray, PharmD, executive director of the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Effectiveness Research. “We’re hoping that we can play a role in what the Institute of Medicine is calling the ‘learning health system’. The Deloitte partnership gives us other analytical tools.”

Specifically, Regenstrief will aim to offer better collaboration with life-sciences manufacturers and academic research hospitals on research and data analysis on laboratories and emergency room visits.

Regenstrief currently has a massive database of 16 million electronic medical records, although about 10 million of those have enough data for a research project, according to Murray. That includes data from mostly hospitals but also clinics and emergency rooms.

“Data density becomes important,” he said. “The key thinking behind the reason why this database was created was to facilitate care but also to prevent patients from getting duplicative laboratories.”

The sharing between organizations can cut down on tests that collectively add up to redundancy and inefficiency, all of which is being closely watched by CMS and can affect a provider’s reimbursement.

“It’s a major point with all of this. Medicare is always looking for ways to reduce expenses, and EHRs and health information exchanges are one area where they hope eventually they can bend the cost curve,” Murray said.

Patient privacy remains a key component of compliance, but different organizations are becoming more adept at doing so without identifying patient names and other too-revealing patient information.

Deloitte has an analytics platform that allows hospital systems to compare results from tools designed to study certain patient outcomes. Deloitte’s OutcomesMiner tool helps users explore “real-world outcomes for sub-populations of interest,” the consultancy group said in a statement.

“As healthcare transforms, we see collaborations with organizations like Regenstrief as a model for the learning systems that rely upon real-world evidence — this can increase data-driven discoveries and enhance our understanding of what works and for whom,” said Asif Dhar, M.D., principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and executive vice president of solutions for ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte.

Murray explained some of the history and context behind the recently approved collaboration.

“The way this works is, in 2004, Regenstrief spun off a company called the Indiana Health Info Exchange, and that company basically processes data from over 100 facilities. That’s the group involved in sharing data across these facilities. Where we come in is on the research side of that exchange.”

Deloitte will not own the data but will be able to parse it after completing a double de-identification.

“It’s kind of one of these things where everyone wants to reduce healthcare costs with data and the only way you can get to that point is to share data, and the only way you can share data is to de-idenfitfy it,” Murray said.