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Customer data integration and data warehouses for the healthcare sector

Learn how using customer data integration (CDI) and data warehousing software together can benefit healthcare providers -- and patients.

How would a data warehousing product integrated with customer data integration (CDI) enable organizations to manage their customers better in the healthcare sector?
Omigosh, I've written a ton on this topic, and it's a hot one!

First let me say that the term "customer" in healthcare has many connotations, since a customer can be a patient,...

a care provider, a pharmacy shopper or anyone who is "served" by the healthcare organization. As Evan and I say in our book, Customer data integration: Reaching a single version of the truth, patient recognition requirements, HIPAA regulations and tighter payer-provider collaboration are turning the healthcare industry upside-down. And they all rely on good data in order to work.

Most of our healthcare clients are using customer data integration (CDI) -- specifically enterprise master patient index (EMPI) functionality -- to reconcile patient identities across their myriad systems, and then using that newly harmonized data to feed better data to their data warehouses for better and more accurate analytics. This allows healthcare provider organizations and their associated busiensses -- health plans, clinics, and pharmacies among them -- to track an individual patient across the continuum of care; the holy grail for many provider organizations.

One large clinic we know specializing in diabetes treatments links patient data from disparate systems onto a master data management (MDM) hub, which feeds the data warehouse, leading to better screening, diagnosis and treatment decsions. Using third-party data gives it a much better understanding of patient outcomes. But beyond that, integrating MDM and data warehousing enables hospitals to personalize patient care, often for the first time. What works for one patient based on his profile, parentage and proclivities, might not work for another. And so with newly reconciled patient information comes a better undersanding of our customers and our markets. It's about time!

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This was last published in May 2008

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