By Ben Holmes, senior clinical data analyst, Syapse.
When it comes to getting a clear picture from real-world data, breadth of view and careful analysis matter equally.
Interpreting data is always a challenge; it’s a problem space with high dimensionality, deeply interrelated variables, and where data completeness is defined in infinite ways. Separating actionable insights from mountains of data requires rigorous statistical validation, thoughtful modeling, and a variety of analytic approaches. Biostatisticians take these steps to avoid biasing results, and to make sure that samples are truly representative and relationships between variables are accounted for.
But even with all possible care and due diligence taken, it’s possible to arrive at skewed results if the view from the data sources included is limited by their inherent biases. For example, mortality is an important data element in oncology research that helps oncologists communicate chances of remission to their patients. Yet, in the real-world setting, there isn’t a single complete source for mortality data that can be used to better understand remission and survival rates.
This is, partly, because many of the traditional mortality data sources only apply to certain groups of patients. For example, death data from hospital registries is only applicable for patients in cases where registry data is available. Additionally, registries tend to rely on electronic health record (EHR) and obituary data to capture deceased status, which do not naturally account for all patients—for example, women and minorities are less likely to have obituaries. With that in mind, datasets that rely heavily on obituary data alone are going to under-represent deaths and overall survival curves associated with women and minorities. This finding is consistent with recently published studies of digitized obituaries which showed that women were awarded significantly fewer obituaries compared to men.
Syapse announces that the Syapse Oncology platform has achieved certified status for information security by HITRUST. This certification audits healthcare-specific security, privacy and regulatory requirements including HIPAA, NIST, ISO and COBIT, as well as industry best practices and provides a single evaluation framework that is designed for the unique needs of Syapse’s health system customers.
“Syapse is scaling one of the largest global networks of health systems and we are committed to building secure and resilient infrastructure for powering precision medicine solutions in cancer care. Our health system partners are under immense pressure to meet complex compliance requirements and through certifications like HITRUST CSF we are helping them solve the technical and process elements of best practices in information security,” said Vinod Subramanian, senior vice president, cloud operations at Syapse. “Syapse is proud to demonstrate its deep commitment to security by achieving the high bar set through HITRUST CSF certification. It’s a validation of our team’s threat awareness and our growing investment in protecting customer data.”
The precision medicine solutions that Syapse provides to its health system customers are developed with a comprehensive understanding of the risk environment and the corresponding needs they identify. For example, every health system working with Syapse retains all access and usage rights to their organization’s data. In addition to the HITRUST CSF certification, Syapse has instituted safeguards, policies, and procedures to protect health system data in compliance with federal health laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), as well as various state data privacy laws across the country.
“The HITRUST CSF has become the information protection framework for the healthcare industry, and the CSF Assurance program is bringing a new level of effectiveness and efficiency to third-party assurance,” said Ken Vander Wal, Chief Compliance Officer, HITRUST. “The HITRUST CSF Certification is now the benchmark that organizations required to safeguard protected health information are measured against with regards to information protection.”