Do You Need to Rapidly (and Securely) Share Healthcare Data? Here's How

Whether you're deep in the healthcare field - as a hospital, clinic, rehabilitation center or extended care facility - or not, any type and form of healthcare and patient data must be both easily accessible and securely managed. And a surefire way to do that is with a robust enterprise information architecture strategy.

Enterprise information architecture is the set of requirements, principles, and models looking at the current and future state of information exchange. It's your strategic roadmap to enable long-term business success and technology standardization.

So how does this help keep healthcare data safe and manageable?

An enterprise information architecture plan will describe the layout of your organization and recognize relationships within to streamline business flow. It joins software systems and network connections with desired business functions to maximize operations.

Just consider the importance and time-sensitive nature of health-related data. With an EIA system, you can make strategic decisions faster, improve performance and health outcomes, control costs, and protect profitability. Currently, many organizations operate electronic medical record systems independently which are unable to communicate and integrate with other systems.

But with supported hyperlinking of related documents, EIA can help drive the determination of what the information needs are to be shared consistently among enterprise and health information exchanges. Plus, effectively documenting and organizing data from processes and services enables healthcare providers to improve outcomes and increase profitability. Integration is a key feature of EIA connecting staff, departments, and organizations to valuable information when it is appropriately distributed.

A holistic information governance approach should provide centralized policy management to ensure consistency, avoid overlap, and enhance prioritization. Plus, automated policy implementation will tackle the complexity and volume of healthcare data when you need to search, retain, delete, or migrate information without changing the behavior of your employees.

But it's not all about how to share data more efficiently.

Data within the healthcare world is generated at faster rates, available on mobile devices, analyzed by more people, and stored longer. It's the perfect bait for hackers: Symantec's 2016 Internet Security Threat Report found that 36% of breaches included medical records and 39% of all breaches took place within the health services sub-sector.

The right EIA will manage information according to value, risk, and privacy. That way, your company can deliver excellent customer service while data remains secure with those who have authorized access. This removes any conflicts, keeps data safe, and strengthens procedures.

Securely storing and rapidly sharing healthcare data can be done with a robust enterprise information architecture plan. Start by building upon - and leveraging - existing policies and business strategies from your state and federal legal agencies (they provide an excellent foundation to build from).

A sound approach to data documentation and organization across the organization will inevitably protect the information you hold. When you create a high-level vision of information architecture, you'll find a strategic link between business functionality and information management.