Tag: NTT DATA Services

Healthcare Data Management In A Data Economy

By Karen Way, global practice lead for data and intelligence, NTT DATA Services.

Karen Way

A recent study conducted by NTT DATA Services and Oxford Economics highlighted the top three challenges identified by healthcare executives and consumers: standardizing and sharing of data across the healthcare spectrum, preparing for and adapting to regulatory changes and recruiting or retaining the right resources. It’s understandable that these challenges rise to the top of the list, as trying to meet rising consumer demands for access to their healthcare data while maintaining regulatory compliance with limited resources is a bit like juggling raw eggs. If your timing or skills are just a bit off, you end up with egg on your face.

How can a healthcare organization address these challenges? First, it’s important to understand exactly which challenges are present within your own organization, and how they are impacting the patient experience.

Data Sharing

Study results showed that only 24 percent of healthcare organizations share data across the business. Why?  There are several reasons:

  1. Interoperability – Even though this concern has been expressed since the inception of the EHR/EMRs, there are still barriers to being able to communicate data between different systems in a consumable, usable format. For example, several years ago, I had a CT scan due to the sudden onset of a continuous migraine headache. After the scan, I was referred to a neurologist that practiced out of another hospital system. I took a copy of the scan (on a DVD) to my specialist appointment, but the doctor was unable to view it on her system. As a result, I had to have another CT scan for the neurologist to see what may have been happening. Data already collected could not be used due to lack of standardization across systems. As noted in Dr. Eric Topol’s book Deep Medicine, “Your ATM card works in Outer Mongolia, but your electronic health record can’t be used in a different hospital across the street.”[1]
  2. Data Volume – The volume of data being generated daily in the healthcare industry has been estimated to be approximately 30 percent of the world-wide total. With the estimates of data generation rates of at approximately 2.5 quintillion (that’s 1, followed by 30 zeros) bytes/day, that’s a lot of healthcare related data. Healthcare organizations aren’t even beginning to tap the depths of this data, simply due to the data volume.
  3. Disparate Data – Like patients, healthcare data comes in many different shapes, sizes and languages. Even if interoperability issues didn’t exist, sharing of data across the healthcare business is hard because of these differences. Data can be an image, a PDF, a written note, a prescription label, etc. Historically, each type of data requires different mechanisms for managing it, often using different tools or systems.

These three factors combined can be overwhelming for healthcare organizations whose main goal is to provide the best healthcare possible.

Resource Management

Another leading challenge identified in the study is that of recruiting and retaining skilled resources.  Of the healthcare executives surveyed, only 51 percent stated that they were able to recruit and retain resources with the required skills and knowledge. There are two components to this issue:

  1. Upskilling resources – With the continual advancements in technology, it is important to ensure that resources can take advantage of training opportunities and professional growth. This is often a delicate balance for organizations; time spent in training is often seen as time away from projects with deadlines.
  2. Healthcare experience – While there may be a pool of qualified resources with the required technical skills, it can be hard to find resources with knowledge and/or experience in the healthcare sector. For example, several years ago, a client brought in resources to support their enterprise data warehouse that had extensive experience in data warehousing. There were high expectations of new and improved functionality due to the technical depth of these resources. Unfortunately, the project did not deliver as expected. Why?  None of the resources had knowledge of healthcare data or business processes. One resource posed the question to the client: “what is a healthcare claim?”

Just as important as reviewing the patient experience for ways technology can solve the problem, it helps to treat your workforce like your customer and improve the experience of transforming the organization into a digital-first enterprise. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlights the difficulty in recruiting resources and approaches to solving this challenge.  The article also reinforces that in today’s data economy, it is no longer enough that a resource be technically skilled, they must also have knowledge of the business environment in which they are applying the technology.

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NTT DATA Services To Acquire State Healthcare Consulting Practice from Cognosante

NTT DATA Services announces that it has acquired Cognosante Consulting, LLC, the consulting division of Cognosante. Cognosante Consulting provides IT strategy, planning, quality assurance and project management for state HHS agencies undergoing large-scale Medicaid and related human services IT and business transformation programs. The company has nearly three decades of experience working with 48 states and the federal government, developing, managing, and executing large, complex health information technology implementations.

As a result of the acquisition, NTT DATA Services will add more than 250 specialized consulting resources, as well as intellectual property currently supporting IT transformations, including those specific to Medicaid in more than 20 states.

Bob Pryor

“The acquisition of Cognosante’s consulting practice immediately establishes us as a leader in a growing health and human services market and enhances the value we can deliver to our clients in the public sector and healthcare,” said Bob Pryor, CEO, NTT DATA Services. “This acquisition is the latest in our ongoing strategy of growth by strategic acquisitions that augment our specialized industry expertise and geographical presence.”

“Cognosante Consulting has built an unmatched reputation supporting IT projects for state HHS departments and other state agencies. Combining our team with the resources and expertise of NTT DATA will enhance our ability to serve clients as they continue to modernize their IT systems to support business transformation,” said Jim Joyce, general manager of Cognosante’s consulting practice, who will continue to lead the organization and serve as senior vice president with NTT DATA Services. “As states revamp their legacy systems and business models, there is significant opportunity for NTT DATA. We are excited to be part of their long-term strategy to support successful state IT implementations.”

As part of NTT DATA Services, the consulting practice will be focused on client IT strategy, project management, quality assurance and Independent Verification and Validation services.

“Cognosante Consulting has been one of the building blocks of Cognosante,” said Michele Kang, founder and CEO of Cognosante. “We are extremely proud of what we have accomplished for our clients, while also increasing both top line revenue and the number of employees by about 500 percent since 2010. This growth of scope and reach, however, began to create conflicts with Cognosante’s core business, requiring us to look for divestiture opportunities.

“We could not have found a more perfect home than NTT DATA Services to align with Cognosante Consulting’s overall mission and company culture. Both Cognosante Consulting clients and employees will benefit tremendously from this combination. We are confident NTT DATA Services will take Cognosante Consulting to the next level while Cognosante continues to focus on its core mission of transforming the nation’s healthcare through innovative technology and solutions.”

The Future is Now: Robots at Work in Healthcare

Karen Way

From faster diagnosis to enhancing operations across care management, compliance and accounting, artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the healthcare landscape. While AI is not a new concept, its adoption in the healthcare industry has lagged behind because of significant changes in technology and the exponential growth of data. AI has tremendous application for healthcare, but leaders will need to balance data management and governance to properly enhance the patience experience and outcomes through AI implementation.

The following is a conversation with Karen A. Way, NTT DATA Services Health Plan Solutions Global Practice Lead, on the topic of robotics and AI in healthcare.

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