Practice brief: Data resource administration: The road ahead
The electronic medical record, clinical data repositories, data marts, data warehouses, document repositories, laboratory information systems, radiology information systems, patient accounting, general ledger -- the number of systems installed in a healthcare organization these days is dizzying. As systems proliferate, huge organizational and technical challenges arise. How do you manage the data across all of these systems to ensure a consistent, accurate view of the patient? How do you obtain agreement on the definitions of the data across the organization? How do you turn the massive amount of data into information and knowledge that the healthcare enterprise can use for quality improvement, reporting, and strategic planning?
To meet these challenges, professionals with a unique combination of skills will be needed to manage and maximize the use of the organization's data resources-that collection of departmental and enterprise-wide databases from which useful operational or strategic information and knowledge can be derived. Given their blend of industry and clinical knowledge, as well as management and technical skills, health information managers are well positioned to fill that role as data resource administrators (DRAs).