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Providers Lag Behind Payers, Pharma on Data Exchange

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, March 6, 2012

Only 20 percent of health insurers are "very confident" in their ability to offer providers access to evidence-based protocols. "It's a good reflection on the need for a tight collaboration between the payer teams and the provider teams," Garrett says. "It's only provider teams that are going to create those evidence-based protocols. Then payers can take all those protocols, aggregate them, and then push them back out to the provider community.

Despite the slow uptake of EHRs and lack of standards, many organizations, particularly pharmaceutical companies, are forging ahead. "I compare the recent explosion of clinical data to the human genome information available 20 years ago," says Andrew Gaughan, director of payer evidence informatics at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, who is quoted in the report.

A Need for EHR Standards

"The quality of data was pretty bad then, but we still used it, albeit with a pinch of salt," Gaughan continues. "You can't just stop because there are no agreed upon industry standards of EHR data. It's better than having nothing at all to work with."

Garrett says most of those featured in the PwC study agreed. "It would certainly be easier if the standards existed," Garrett says. "Right now anybody that's going to get into this space is just going to have to work around that."

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