Nearly two years ago, after years of negotiations, New York-Presbyterian Hospital established a formal agreement with its two affiliated medical centers outlining the legalities of sharing individual patient clinical data as well as financial data. If that sounds like a political and technological breakthrough, it was.

At the time, the highly-ranked hospital with two top-tier research institutions—Columbia University Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medical College—was “sitting” on a tsunami of data that existed in silos, according to Kate Pavlovich, New York-Presbyterian’s director of strategy and data analytics.

“If we really wanted to fulfill our mission of patient-centered care, research and education,” the hospital realized it had to change its ways, Pavlovich told Health Data Management’s Healthcare Analytics Symposium in Chicago on Tuesday. By leveraging prioritization algorithms, routing strategies, transparent reporting and cycle time analysis, the three participating institutions were able to more effectively manage data requests.

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“It’s a simple framework and it works,” exclaimed Pavlovich, who said there are essentially three focus areas—people, process, and technology.  

The result is a faster and more streamlined process for receiving data requests and delivering on them. In fact, the hospital and its two medical centers were able to cut the turnaround time for data request approval and delivery in half. And, under the data sharing agreement, requests are now provided with a specific fulfillment date as to when requesters can expect to receive the data.

Trushna Dave, manager of strategy and data analytics at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, added that the data sharing process has been so successful that the model is being adopted by the New York City Clinical Data Research Network (NYC-CDRN), which is funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Incorporating 22 organizations, the NYC-CDRN will include complete, comprehensive, and longitudinal data for at least 2.5 million patients, and potentially as many as 6 million patients.

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