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DB Results: Bridging the gap: Meeting patients' demands for integrated healthcare in Australia

As demands for personalised, integrated care rise, DB Results helps to bridge the divide between patient expectations and healthcare technology capabilities.

Meeting patient expectations

There is a new wave of requirements cresting in the Australian Healthcare space. This new wave is generated by the public and is a manifestation of the post-COVID health care delivery landscape.

Patients are demanding personalised, longitudinal, integrated healthcare. They require that their healthcare providers work together to treat them and no longer rely on the patient to be the custodian of the shared knowledge that must be repeated endlessly.

This desire for personalised ‘joined up’ care is expected from the entire healthcare network, across Primary Care Providers, Specialists, Hospitals and Inpatient Facilities, Outpatient Clinics and Ambulatory Care Centres, Long-term Care Facilities, Home Health Agencies, Allied Health, Pharmacies, Diagnostic and Imaging Centres, Rehabilitation Centres, Health Information Exchanges, Telehealth and Remote Monitoring Services, Health Insurance Companies and a range of other clinical settings. In short patients are demanding that the healthcare network be exactly that – a true network that provides collaboration, communication, and care!

This shift toward integrated, personalised healthcare has been recognised by many within the medical fraternity for some time. The Australian Federal Government responded by releasing industry papers tackling this requirement over the past few years and some initial movements to facilitate the delivery of the information technology to make this happen has begun. It is a slow process.

Patients are increasingly expressing their frustration with a healthcare system that seems hesitant to adopt readily available technology.

Consumers, and let us not forget that patients are consumers, can now reach into their pocket and use a device to securely conduct an almost endless cornucopia of transactions – change energy companies; engage new telecommunications providers; complete banking transactions; submit taxation details; conduct real estate purchases; make encrypted video calls – an almost endless stream of capability. Yet, when it comes to interacting with their healthcare providers, it often regresses to outdated methods of operation reminiscent of the last century.

Data and technology challenges faced by healthcare providers

This gap between the patients’ expectations and the ability of the healthcare network to meet them is widening. A lack of integration and secure data exchange across the myriad of providers is severely hampering the sectors’ ability to rise to the challenge.

This functional expectation gap is further compounded by the need to maintain absolute protection of the data that is gathered by necessity throughout the therapeutic process.

However, amid these challenges, there is a hope in the form of innovative solutions that strive to bridge this gap. DB Results, a leader in healthcare innovation, has developed a groundbreaking capability aimed at enhancing patients' data sharing experience through the provision of a personalised Health Wallet™. This innovative solution, designed for use on personal mobile devices, ensures the secure protection of both Protected Health Information (PHI) and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) using distributed ledger (blockchain networks). The Health Wallet™ boasts a secure information sharing facility, enabling patients to seamlessly transmit encrypted keys to healthcare professionals for access to nominated PHI data. Whether the access is permanent, time-based, situational, or one-off, DB Results' Health Wallet™ utilises cutting-edge security measures and information integration technologies to safeguard patient data while facilitating seamless communication within the healthcare network.

The competing desire of data integration and exchange, with the fear of unsanctioned data breeches, is driving many of the implementation decisions in the healthcare sector today. It is reasoned to be a superior solution to protect the patient’s data in an archaic but ‘safe’ system then to risk a security compromise by providing an attack vector for hackers by opening that same system for data exchange.

There are technological advancements to address the lack of integration with the adoption of standards like Health Level 7 (HL7) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) protocol. However, the rate of adoption of these protocols across the many different solution suppliers has been slow and uncoordinated. The large system technology vendors in healthcare comply with FHIR protocols within their licensed technology stacks, but interacting with standardsbased solutions outside these boundaries can prove expensive and cumbersome. The patients rightly ask, “If my competing banks can easily talk to each other – why can’t you?”

Secure data exchange, be that via FHIR or any other agreed mechanism, must maintain the required data protection demanded by patients and mandated by legislation. Managing this ongoing and dynamic requirement is not a setand- forget operation. It is an act of permanent vigilance. A single lapse of attention can result in a substantial security event that has wideranging and significant negative outcomes for the organisation, and a potentially catastrophic impact for the individuals affected.

DB Results have been advancing the interoperability of healthcare systems via our engagement with several notable healthcare providers and government agencies. Over the past decade we have worked closely with organisations as varied as small medical device and solution startups, through to large health government agencies and the Federal Department of Health. We have discussed systemic requirements for large scale integration projects with the Digital Health Agency, Commonwealth Department of Digital Health, many of the large Patient Management Systems vendors and a host of hospitals and clinics without compromising functionality. Enabling data interoperability and integration while maintaining robust security is a challenge we’ve repeatedly proven achievable.

Our collaboration with a large government health organisation exemplifies our commitment to secure, accessible solutions. Working closely with this agency, we developed an awardwinning mobile application that integrates with existing systems while meeting stringent security standards. This underscores our belief that technology, when intelligently applied, can enhance security and functionality, ensuring solutions effectively integrate into organisational operational models.

Partnering for secure healthcare transformation

It's all about the people and how they use the technology.

The risk for any technology project is that it is completely implemented and completely unusable. Technology must be subservient to the business capability that it provides for it to be useful.

At DB Results, we've established successful digital transformation approaches by prioritising our understanding of customer needs and the operational requirements that support contemporary technologies.

As a trusted consultant in leveraging technology effectively, we are at the forefront of ideas for a seamlessly integrated and interoperable healthcare ecosystem.

We are involved with governmental, university and industry bodies, and make substantial contributions to strategies and planning of what the Australian Healthcare sector will look like over the next decade.

We proudly partner with, and are sought out by, some of the leading suppliers of data security, protection and integration solutions worldwide, ensuring our solutions adhere to the highest standards of security and functionality.

The team at DB Results have the expertise and capability to close the gap between the expectations of patients and the healthcare service providers’ ability to deliver to those expectations.

If your organisation is grappling with meeting the expectations of your patients and the daunting prospect of adapting your technology to meet their needs, we encourage you to connect with us. Let's explore how we can collaborate to deliver positive outcomes for patients.

By Rallas Buttriss, Head of Health at DB Results.


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