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A Single Version of the Truth Takes a Whole Toolbox

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, October 2, 2012

The combination of these tools can advise MSHA how to adjust its mix of labor, which can account for 50% of overall operating expenses, Pigg says.

Going forward, though, those standalone tools will be continually reevaluated by management in order to bring clinical and financial reporting together into a shared data structure, Pigg says. This will bring a whole new meaning to that goal of CIOs, "a single version of the truth."

"We're starting to see a lot of different organizations, either through GPOs—group purchasing organizations—or integrated networks, where people are really starting to develop standard definitions for a lot of things," Pigg says. "As we go even farther down the road of one unified medical record, we will have a true definition of what a readmission is. I'm hearing more and more conversation about that."

Truly, it takes a lot to build an interoperable data grid. Just ask the electric companies.

Scott Mace is senior technology editor at HealthLeaders Media.
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