Campbell and Fisher: Turn Real-World Data into Real-World Evidence

"This is duplicate work, and frankly we can't afford it on either end anymore."

Deborah Fisher, MD, thinks healthcare can no longer afford data redundancy.

“We have physicians, nurses, medical assistants, other members of the healthcare team entering the exact same data for clinical documentation and also for billing,” the Duke University gastroenterologist said. “Why do we have one set of data for the clinical world, one for the business world, and another set of data for research? This is duplicate work.”

At the Digital Pharma East meeting last month in Philadelphia, Fisher and her husband, cardiologist and PaceMate CEO Kevin Campbell, MD, sat down for a joint interview with Healthcare Analytics News. Both agreed that interoperability is one of the greatest challenges to healthcare right now.

“One of the biggest issues is that in medicine we're circling in a separate orbit,” Campbell said. “We're all in our individual silos, and until we work together and work together to solve patient problems and engage patients, we're not going to solve problems very quickly.

Fisher expressed concern that certain data entry tasks mandated by legislation have not been very helpful. “I think we've been very much in a box-checking mode,” she said. "Important things like interoperability, transparency, and ability to work together have not been supported by the infrastructure or our legislation.”

As a clinical researcher, Fisher said interoperability is essential to improving efficiency. To do that, healthcare needs to adopt standards for data and an ability to share them.

“What we need to do is be able to turn real-world data to real-world evidence,” she said. “You enter it once and it's of high enough quality…it can be used not only to take care of your patient but also to make research studies and regulatory decisions.”