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August 2016 | Volume 4 Issue 3

Informatics and analytics: closer ties in wake of health data boom

At Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts, medical informatics and analytics are forging a closer relationship. That's largely due to a massive expansion of digital health data and the need to put analytics in the hands of not only data scientists, but also clinicians. That effort is part of a larger trend sweeping health IT: the move beyond data acquisition and extraction to using today's exponentially bigger troves of digital information for quality improvement, better medical outcomes and population health. Brian Herrick, M.D., chief medical information officer at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), said professionals from both the informatics and analytics departments are aligned in a concerted drive to put patient data at the service of population health. "It's still a work in progress, but there's lots of excitement and lots of opportunity," Herrick said. "We have this EHR with all this data. How do we provide access to it in a way that people can use?" Among the technologies the healthcare system is using is Epic Systems...

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