The Need for Better Health Care Data Standards
PHILADELPHIA -- The tower of IT babel created by 5,000 U.S. hospitals using hundreds of different incompatible computer systems to process their daily data is a major frustration for health system CIOs like the University of Pennsylvania's Michael Restuccia. "What our industry really lacks is a standard that enables us to exchange data in a consistent and meaningful way," he told the audience at the 2012 Wharton Alumni Health Care Conference. Audience members said that effectively running new sorts of health care business models like ACOs demanded revamped data systems that can track any single patient across all areas of care delivery. Restuccia, the IT chief of Penn Medicine, which operates both the University Health System and medical school, also voiced his support for the creation of a unique patient identifier system. [ -- Conference session: Payer/Provider Perspectives on Innovation. -- ]

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