Health Data Integration: The Ultimate Guide for Your Business 
Data & Analytics Healthcare
Health Data Integration: The Ultimate Guide for Your Business 
Health Data Integration: The Ultimate Guide for Your Business 
Data & Analytics Healthcare

Health Data Integration: The Ultimate Guide for Your Business 

The rapidly growing healthcare sector creates an abundance of personal user data that gets recorded every time a patient crosses paths with the healthcare system during doctor checkups and running tests, and now this includes also data that is collected from wearable medical devices. According to a research article published in Internal Medicine Journal, the amount of health data is expected to increase by 36% by the year 2025. The rise of telehealth calls for an urgent need to incorporate data integration solutions to help manage the growing data ‘Everest’ and facilitate better health-related decision-making, both on an individual and global level.  


What is Data Integration? Importance of Data Integration in Healthcare 

So, what is Data Integration in healthcare? All the information regarding patient health and wellbeing, diagnostics, treatment, procedures, and much more – medical records are created on many touchpoints when the patient is interacting with the healthcare system.

Data integration in the healthcare industry is a matter of gathering all the dispersed health records coming from different sources and transforming them in a way to make them more useable. This makes it so that the data follows the patient – whether they switch between healthcare providers, file for insurance, or seek out a second opinion – all the data is available and ready to use for informed decision-making. On a larger scale, data integration draws a vivid picture of population health, which becomes crucial in addressing critical situations, e.g., monitoring disease prevalence in the population or dealing with the Covid-19 health crisis.

With technological advancements changing the way health facilities work and inevitably leading to the globalization of healthcare, data integration becomes more and more important in making the data accessible to decision-makers in the strive for better health outcomes for all. 


Benefits of Healthcare Data Integration and Interoperability 

The importance of data integration in healthcare is undeniable when talking about a person’s life and well-being and understanding how much of it relies on collecting accurate and exhaustive data on the condition, treatment plans, and outcomes. But that’s just the first self-evident benefit. 

Improved Unification of Systems

Data integration stands for the unification of systems where the data is recorded and preserved. Unified data is easier to transfer and use regardless of when and how the original records were created, and whether it was collected by a healthcare professional or through a wearable device. 

Consolidated Population Health Data 

With consolidated data on disease prevalence and patterns, healthcare professionals are able to track and observe fluctuations in population health, which can be especially useful when talking about disease control and prevention, life expectancy and public health, vulnerable populations, etc. 

Improved Collaboration Across Departments 

Taking care of a patient is always a team effort. Medical cases often require getting multiple departments on board, starting from admitting the patient, testing and diagnosis, treatment plan and prescriptions, and down to insurance and billing. Data integration helps create a continuous information flow and makes interactions within and around the healthcare system more time efficient and supports better patient care. 

Boost in Efficiency and Productivity 

If the data is always available, it makes it easier for the healthcare provider to be on top of the patient’s case, offer the appropriate treatment, and hope for positive outcomes. Efficient patient care from the very beginning helps reduce redundancy and cut expenses. On a larger scale, when healthcare facilities improve their efficiency, more patients can be seen and treated, and there is a better grasp of public health overall. 

Improved Data Quality 

Data integration helps reduce the number of integration errors, as well as the time spent correcting said errors. High-quality, accurate, up-to-date data is collected and stored in data lakes or data warehouses. 

Actionable Insights for Better Decision-Making 

Sufficient high-quality data available during treatment helps improve patient care long-term. Furthermore, actionable insights can be used for efficient business decision-making in the context of public health, drive innovations and healthcare industry transformation. 

Data Integration Challenges in Healthcare 

Industry-specific challenges may arise when introducing data integration for healthcare.  

Lack of Standardization 

This challenge stems from the need to work with a lot of historical data, that is being collected continuously and requires it to be consolidated to make it easier to access and use. In order to address this challenge, some level of standardization has to be introduced with standardized data formats and data handling processes. 

Data Privacy and Confidentiality 

Healthcare data is more often than not personal and sensitive, which means that high levels of security are a must. Healthcare providers need to abide by the laws and regulations that protect an individual’s right to privacy and dignity, i.e., HIPPA. This needs to be accounted for when handling large amounts of health data to provide secure data storage and prevent data leaks or unauthorized access. 

Ever-Growing Pool of Data Sources 

Data inconsistency becomes a challenge of its own when we work with multiple data sources across applications and devices. 

Healthcare providers face these challenges daily as public health isn’t something that can be postponed until we have better solutions or more advanced technologies. Therefore, health organizations make the most of the innovations and solutions that are already available and stay alert to the always changing and evolving state of modern technology. 

Healthcare Data Integration Best Practices 

Invest in Cloud Computing 

Leveraging cloud technologies helps healthcare organizations manage the vast amounts of sensitive data that are generated daily. Cloud computing in healthcare helps reduce costs while maintaining high security and regulatory standards, as well as improves collaboration through efficient data integration. Patients receive a better experience in the course of diagnostics and treatment as the cloud makes medical services more widely accessible, reduces waiting time, and decreases the need for in-person consultations with the imminent spread of telehealth. 

Leverage Data Lakes and Data Warehouses 

Consider the benefits of data lakes and data warehouses for storing, managing, and processing data in healthcare. Data lakes are a cost-effective and scalable solution for working with large amounts of unstructured data. For a more hands-on approach, data warehouses can provide more control over data integration and analysis, as well as eliminate data silos and bottlenecks. Leveraging data warehouses in the cloud can support efficient decision-making and improve business performance. 

Consider the Types of Data Worth Collecting

Healthcare professionals should be mindful of what data is being collected and processed. This will help us better understand where the data comes from, how it may be used, and how it should be maintained and updated. This approach may help avoid hoarding more data than necessary, improve data integration practices, and provide better healthcare services to the patients. 

Stay Up to Date With the Latest Compliance Regulations

The healthcare industry required medical institutions and organizations to maintain a high standard of data security. Compliance with regulations is required for patient protection and maintaining best practices. 

Summing Up 

Data integration is essential to help streamline and consolidate healthcare data in all its abundance and find optimal solutions for secure data storage and usage. Unified health data facilitates better business decision-making in the healthcare sector and leads to better patient outcomes. 

Having garnered solid experience working with healthcare projects, Symphony Solutions can provide you with expert Data Analytics services to help you achieve your business objectives.

FAQs on Data Integration in Healthcare 

Healthcare data integration is the process of collecting health data from various sources and providing a unified view of health records for informed decision-making and better patient care.

Data integration is important in healthcare because it helps healthcare professionals have an in-depth overview of patients’ health history and accommodates informed decision-making.

Integration of services in healthcare is the combination of services with the aim to provide a holistic approach to patient care and treatment and increase the efficiency of healthcare services overall.