Getty Images

The Sequoia Project, AHIMA Aims to Enhance Data Usability Efforts

The organizations created a new initiative to assist healthcare organizations in navigating data usability.

In an effort to build better semantic interoperability of health information, the Sequoia Project and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) have created Data Usability Taking Root, an initiative meant to ease the implementation and flow of data.

Despite the high availability of data, its use and application often contain many gray areas. Recognizing this, the Sequoia Project and AHIMA created a new initiative that aims to increase the usefulness of health information for the healthcare workforce.

Known as the Data Usability Taking Root, this initiative specifically seeks to make data more computable by allowing participants to choose their pathways for implementation. The Sequoia Project intends to assist users with technical issues and testing throughout this process.

“Implementers choose to work on areas that matter most to them,” said Didi Davis, The Sequoia Project’s vice president of informatics, conformance, and interoperability, in a press release. “For some, this could mean working on data provenance and traceability of change, data integrity and trust, or data tagging and searchability. For others, it could mean effective use of codes, reducing the impact of duplicates, effective use of narrative, or any combination they choose.”

AHIMA and The Sequoia Project urge users to take a data-usability-in-all-projects approach. This refers to the process of making necessary incremental improvements gradually, according to the press release.

“Data usability is part of the DNA of the health information profession. We support this work not only because the public and private sectors together have made significant strides in health data interoperability, but because for over 96 years, AHIMA has been laser-focused on ensuring the completeness and usefulness of health data” said Amy Mosser, interim AHIMA chief executive officer, in the press release. “Implementation of data usability guidance on a national scale will promote consistency across technologies that share data, at a time when more data are available and shared than ever before.”

The press release also noted that various health information technology organizations expressed support for this project. These groups include Azuba, Civitas Networks for Health, Epic, Foothold Technology, and Optum.

This is not the first time The Sequoia Project has taken steps to improve data usability.

In October 2020, the organization created the Data Usability Workgroup that aims to assist health IT stakeholders with issues related to interoperability. The organization launched this effort to guide participants with implementation, improving patient data exchange.

As The Sequoia Project recruited healthcare and interoperability stakeholders for the workgroup, they did so with the goal of increasing comprehensive guidance.

The Ohio Health Information Partnership (OHIP), the operator of CliniSync, took a similar step in June.

To improve interoperability and data usability, this organization selected the KPI Ninja platform from a health IT vendor, Health Catalyst. According to OHIP, this step would allow for the growth of CliniSync while assisting users with data usability.

Next Steps

Dig Deeper on Health IT optimization

Cloud Computing
Mobile Computing