The impact of data integration on employee health

Mar 02,2022

Read Time 3 Minutes

When doctors have access to more connected healthcare data, they can gain deeper insights into their patients’ conditions and provide better care recommendations. And while data integration seems like it should be commonplace in today’s digital world, many health systems aren’t set up to facilitate efficient information sharing. It’s important to recognize this disconnect as it can affect your employees’ overall health – and their care costs, too.

Fragmented healthcare can result from a number of data exchange issues, including:

  • Data sharing or interoperability
    Incomplete information or an inability to combine data sources – also called “data siloes” – can impact a doctor’s view of their patient’s health. Patients may receive care from multiple doctors, hospitals, or specialists, and incompatible records systems may limit information sharing between practices.

  • Information transfer issues
    Even with the availability of electronic software platforms, a large percentage of medical information is still stored using paper filing systems. Records are often transferred by mail, fax, or by patients themselves.

  • Privacy restrictions
    Federal privacy laws around protected health information (PHI) are in place to safeguard patients, but can prevent data integration and hinder the exchange of helpful medical information.

A recent study showed that patients want their information to be shared among their doctors and health facilities. The majority of those surveyed also felt also it was important to prioritize secure data exchanges among healthcare providers, and many want greater control over their own health information.


Innovative health leaders like Anthem have recognized these needs and are changing how data is shared. Through partnerships facilitating the exchange of secure, two-way health information, they’re taking steps to streamline administrative processes and enhance patient support. For example, data is now shared from over 45 million members using Anthem’s integrated Health OS platform.


Health OS is a digital platform helping to untangle complex healthcare processes. It brings together all care stakeholders, patients’ siloed health data, and best-in-class solutions to empower more informed, data-driven provider decision-making. In addition, Health OS simplifies and enhances the patient experience, streamlines administrative tasks, and enables a more successful transition to value-based care.


Doctors can now utilize this advanced platform to see real-time patient information across care providers. Prior authorizations, previously done by phone or fax, can be completed electronically. Doctors can also receive immediate notifications about important events such as hospital discharges, care gaps, or medication adherence concerns.


These types of improvements in data integration and authorization processes allow health insurers to quickly make decisions, freeing doctors to spend more time on their patients’ care.


Electronic medical records (EMRs) can lower employee care costs


The benefits of electronic data sharing have been proven. Data integration leads to better outcomes, improved satisfaction, and lower costs for employers and employees:

  • 75% of doctors report EMRs allow them to deliver better care and 88% report clinical benefits for their practice.

  • 76% of patients said electronic prescriptions made it easier to obtain their medications.

  • Doctors report fewer after-hours calls and improved screening rates for breast cancer, colon cancer, and diabetes. They also note better blood pressure control for patients with hypertension, and better recording of body mass index and blood results for those with diabetes.

Beyond sharing information, EMRs also analyze data and leverage predictive modeling. They can check a patient’s medical history for allergies, drug interactions, and even identify potential mental health concerns. EMRs support better point-of-care decisions, reduce hospital stays and administrative errors, and help employees find cost-effective, in-network care with high-quality doctors.


The future of connected data


Care delivery will continually transform as healthcare data integration improves. These advancements are important for the health of your workforce, and based on the type of benefits offered to your employees, they could also impact your bottom line.


When doctors and insurers work together using connected information, they can prioritize whole-person care. This can help reduce costs and drive savings, boost health outcomes, and improve overall employee productivity and satisfaction.