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The path to interoperability, the problem of duplicate patient data | Data Book podcast


Dr. Pawan Jindal, founder and CEO of Darena Solutions, talks about exchanging patient data more easily and the progress of AI in our latest podcast.

Dr. Pawan Jindal has been waiting for some time to see progress in interoperability in healthcare.

Image: Darena Solutions

Pawan Jindal, founder and CEO of Darena Solutions

Jindal is the founder and CEO of Darena Solutions, a healthcare technology company based in St. Louis. He founded the company 14 years ago, and at the time, he thought interoperability was on the cusp of reality.

It’s taken longer than he expected, or wanted. He talked about the path to interoperability, among a host of issues, in the latest episode of Data Book, a podcast by Chief Healthcare Executive®.

“Based on what we would have expected 10 years ago, I would say it's definitely discouraging,” Jindal says.

But he says that the COVID-19 pandemic has helped spur progress. “It did kind of, you know, create this urgency in the market …. how much data interoperability is needed,” he says.

“The execution is a little slow, but it is definitely happening. So overall, I would say we are definitely personally happy with what the direction we have seen, we just wish it would have happened a lot faster. But that’s OK,” he says with a laugh.

During the podcast, Jindal discusses a persistent problem that needs to be resolved on the road to interoperability. There’s far too much duplication of patient data in healthcare.

Much of the data duplication is tied to human error, such as a patient’s name being entered simultaneously as “John” or “Johnny.” It may seem minor, but data duplication is a thorny issue for providers and payers, Jindal says.

“It usually doesn't get the attention that it should actually, when we talk about interoperability, and data portability,” he says.

“It is a huge problem,” Jindal says. “It is also a patient safety issue. And when you have two records, none of them are complete. And then, the provider is basically making a decision based on one record, not having the complete record.”

Jindal also discusses artificial intelligence and says he expects to see significant expansion of the use of AI in healthcare in the near future. He talks about the Biden administration’s to place guide rails on AI.

“Kudos to the government to at least taking a stab in there. But I always say it's not the rule, it's the execution that really matters,” Jindal says.

But he says healthcare and hospital executives can’t ignore the potential of AI, and he adds that it’s not just a trend or buzzword.

“It's here to stay,” Jindal says.

And he advises healthcare leaders, “Be open to it … Be cautiously optimistic.”

Darena Solutions offers interoperability and analytics solutions for providers and payers. During the podcast, he talks about how his wife’s extreme morning sickness helped lead to the formation of the company. He had to take her to the hospital, and he brought her records to the hospital, and it began spurring the idea of making it easier for providers to get the data they needed on their patients.

Jindal is also a physician by training, and during the podcast, he talks about how that experience has informed his leadership of a health technology company.

“I'm a clinician first and then a technology person,” he says.

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