Views from the bottom

Betterpath's team has collectively spent more than a century working toward the goal of unlocking the value of health data.

This blog provides a high-level window into why we believe a bottom-up approach is the key to healthcare system transformation.

What isn't data?

Matt Sinderbrand, MPH • April 19, 2018 • 2 minute read

I was not a well-behaved child. By age 6 I already knew everything while my parents and teachers obviously didn't, so I operated under a "you can't tell me nothing" policy that infuriated any adult who dared to cross my path. By age 12 that petulant tone had run its course, and I realized that I in fact knew almost nothing about anything. This cycle from all is known to all is unknown seems to repeat itself as I gain more experience and process more data through my learning computer (my brain).

UMLS as a lens for extracting health data value

Mark Tuttle, FACMI • February 20, 2018 • 2 minute read

We live in a world where things thought to be impossible, or at least extremely difficult, just a decade ago are now routine. Computers can translate one language into another, understand the spoken word, recognize our faces in a picture, and almost drive our car autonomously. And yet computers can’t do much with our health data that improves care.

Why health data remains incomplete

Dr. William Yasnoff, MD, PhD, FACMI • February 12, 2018 • 2 minute read

Providing good patient care requires complete records. If your provider doesn’t have all your medical history, current medical problems, and a complete list of your medications and test results, how can reasonable judgements be made about what should be done? But this is not how health care works today. Every provider has their own records, and they are not automatically shared. Imagine how dangerous it would be if airplane mechanics only had each airplane’s maintenance records for work done in the current location, rather than all the records? But that’s what we do in the health care sector. Today, no one – not you or any provider – has a complete set of your medical records. That exposes you at least to the possible inconvenience and expense of duplicate testing, and at worst to life-threatening medical errors.

From patient engagement to person engagement

Brad Tritle, CIPP • January 12, 2018 • 2 minute read

In 2006, I had the honor to work on a statewide effort to both promote the digitization of health data, and to look at appropriate ways to aggregate and share as complete a record as possible at the point of care. This was intense and involved in-depth study of business models, technical models, privacy and consent, security, legislation, technical standards – while engaging with providers, payers, employers and government agencies. It was both stimulating and exhausting! That was what I call “provider-centric” health information exchange.

The health system of the future was invented 200 years ago

Matt Sinderbrand, MPH • December 4, 2017 • 2 minute read

How many times have you purchased something with a piece of plastic? Do you ever wonder how that actually works? What exactly am I giving over with each swipe of my credit card? Isn’t it just data?