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AMA Initiative Seeks to Improve Outcomes and Decision Making Through Better Data Sharing

Laura Joszt
A collaboration founded by the American Medical Association (AMA) will bring together organizations like IBM, Cerner, Intermountain Healthcare, the American Heart Association, and the American Medical Informatics Association to improve patient care through a better way to organize and share healthcare information.
A collaboration founded by the American Medical Association (AMA) will bring together organizations like IBM, Cerner, Intermountain Healthcare, the American Heart Association, and the American Medical Informatics Association to improve patient care through a better way to organize and share healthcare information.

AMA CEO James L. Madara, MD, pointed out that, while the American healthcare system is generating more health data than ever, the most meaningful data, which can unlock improvements in outcomes, are “fragmented, inaccessible, or incomplete.” During his address at the AMA Interim Meeting, Madara outlined the revolutionary opportunity available through the Integrated Health Model Initiative (IHMI).

The initiative will pioneer a shared framework for health data in order to provide a complete picture of a patient’s healthcare journey. The goal is to allow healthcare delivery to focus on patient outcomes, goals, and wellness, the AMA announced in a press release.

“It’s been said that data is the oil of this century, and so harnessing the power of health data in a way that is both efficient for the physician and improves patientcare is an enormous and important challenge—one that should be led by physicians,” Madara said in his speech. “Our allies in the field are calling our IHMI solution both dearly needed and incredibly bold. It certainly could be a game-changer in health care delivery.”

Through the work of IHMI, clinicians will be able to access essential information to better create care plans to achieve the best outcomes that align with a patient’s lifestyle, goals, and health status. The initiative will initially prioritize hypertension, diabetes, and asthma.

"IHMI establishes a common data model that can be more easily shared across health systems, allowing the data elements of one vendor platform to be meaningfully translated to another," Madara said during his speech. "This achieves interoperability, not simply by being able to share limited data elements, but by the ability to transfer real clinical meaning.”

During the launch of the IHMI, AMA is focusing on:
  • Hosting clinical and issue-based communities focused on costly and burdensome areas and identifying the best available science and practices for patient-centric care.
  • Providing a clinical validation process to choose and implement appropriate clinical frameworks.
  • Specifying a model to encode information in the IHMI data model.
“This kind of improvement, in the long run, extracts physicians from a good chunk of the mind-numbing administrative and data entry chores they face, improvement that shifts the currently misused time to what we trained for—time with our patients," Madara said.

 
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