By Kobi Margolin

The healthcare industry is drowning in a sea of data—we collect more information about patients than ever before with the best intentions of using it for improving quality and reducing costs. However, for a long time there has been a roadblock to successfully accomplishing these goals: how to efficiently extract clinical meaning from all of that information, so clinicians can have it when they need it.

To date, one of the biggest components to this technological challenge is the wide variety of types of data. For example, a referring doctor may use a different EHR from the hospital or use somewhat different vocabularies. Because there are few standards and very little interoperability across clinical systems, organizations have to spend significant time and money simply getting the data out of a system and converting it to a format that can be analyzed. Traditional data analytics engines can only work with data that has been converted or normalized to their system’s format.

What the industry needs is an engine to automatically convert the data, it would greatly simplify the whole process. It would be less expensive and less time consuming, and clinicians, not IT people, could design the reports to analyze any data they wanted. And that’s exactly what Clinigence has done. We’re putting the power of big data analytics into the hands of the people who understand what the data holds: the clinicians, who are the people in your health system that can have the most impact on improving patient care and finding ways to lower costs. (You can read more about how our engine works if you are interested.)

Over the last few years, we have helped physicians around the country and in an Accountable Care Organization participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) achieve these goals. And earlier this year, we were accepted into the 2014 New York Digital Health Accelerator (NYDHA) program.

Which brings us to why we started this blog. We want a venue to share lessons learned, trends and insights with the industry. About every two weeks, we will be updating you with educational material and some news about Clinigence. During the four-month NYDHA program, we will let you know how we are doing, who we have met and how we are refining our solution. In the long-run, we will have guest blog posts from clients and industry experts about the latest trends, and lessons they have learned as they try to harness data, just like you are.

Let us know what you would like to hear, learn or read about in the coming months and we will write about it!