Precision Medicine and Care Coordination

Posted by Cam McClellan Teems

March 8, 2016 at 6:19 PM



If you are going to be precise with a patient's treatment, you need a close, engaged, one-on-one relationship with the patient, as well as all the data and information to support precision diagnosis, personalized treatment plans and close compliance with those as a patient moves from screening through the end of disease. The last part is where care coordination intersects with precision medicine.

The White House's recent Precision Medicine Initiative Summit brought together stakeholders in "precision medicine.” The Summit's goal was to "enable a new era of medicine through research, technology, and policies that empower patients, researchers and providers to work together toward development of individualized care," according to the White House.

"The key to all this is for us to be able to build up databases, because all of us potentially could have electronic medical records that voluntarily, with strong privacy protections, ... pool together [data] so that researchers, practitioners, scientists can share [information],” President Obama said. “If that happens, we may be able to accelerate the process of discovering cures in ways that we've never seen before."

To bring this to fruition, a key team has committed to the White House to build and make available a standardized application programming interface (API) for up to five pilot health care provider organizations in 2016, allowing them to build fast healthcare interoperability resources (FHIR) applications for patients and providers with their own developers or outside vendors. The pilot results will be made publicly available to help other providers deploy FHIR-driven tools.

This is an important development on several fronts. Data sharing is absolutely critical to advancing healthcare to a more patient-centric approach, as well as value-based payment models. The right clinical and patient data must be available to the many different providers and care extenders who are involved in treating chronic-care patients (like those in oncology, spine, bariatrics and behavioral health), as well as those tools they use to deliver treatment in many different settings.

Precision care will be a continuing theme in the healthcare industry (as will interoperability). Stay tuned …

Topics: health IT, Navigation & Care Coordination, Treatment Plans, Chronic Care, FHIR

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