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Patient Journey View Broadens with Combined Data Sets

Author: Verana Health
February 2022
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Linking EHR and claims data from real-world healthcare settings enables deeper insights

The evolution of electronic health records and other health technologies has resulted in a proliferation of raw, unfiltered data that holds immense promise for advancing healthcare. In isolation, this data can be helpful to inform clinicians about an individual patient’s health history and current condition. But when de-identified, aggregated and rigorously curated, this data has the potential to transform healthcare. Through exclusive partnerships with leading medical societies, Verana Health is able to harness comprehensive electronic health record (EHR) data from qualified clinical data registries to inform quality care measures for providers and generate real-world evidence based on de-identified patient data for clinical researchers with the aim to improve patient outcomes.

When clinical researchers examine real-world data, they often have an incomplete view of the patient journey. That’s because they may be missing vital information about that patient’s medical and prescription history, social determinants of health (SDOH), and/or other data that gives insight into the care received. 

But imagine if researchers and clinicians were able to leverage a more comprehensive understanding of patient experiences at the population level to gain insights into diseases and disorders which eventually could lead to powerful treatments and outcomes.

That’s why we’re excited to now offer EHR+ data, which offers access to Verana Health’s de-identified, real-world EHR data sets combined with comprehensive, de-identified claims data sets to expand the depth, breadth, and reach of our healthcare data analytics and clinical research capabilities.  By creating more comprehensive, de-identified datasets, Verana is unlocking new insights into the patient journey across a continuum of disorders and conditions.

A More Complete Picture 

Verana Health’s clinician-directed and AI-enhanced population health data engine starts with the unfiltered EHR data that has been exclusively entrusted to us by more than 20,000 healthcare providers via our medical specialty society partners, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), American Academy of Neurology (AAN), and American Urological Association (AUA). 

The engine then connects and de-identifies more than seven years of anonymized, longitudinal, outpatient data while preserving the clinical context of healthcare providers’ point-of-care documentation. Next, structured and unstructured raw-source data are harmonized and tokenized across EHRs and medical specialties as well as with other sources, including medical claims, pharmacy claims, and mortality data. The data are then maintained, protected, and curated using clinician oversight as well as natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML).

Tokenizing and combining Verana Health’s robust real-world data — from more than 70 EHRs, 20,000 contributing providers, and 90 million patients — with claims data sets from hundreds of millions of patients enables researchers to surface rich insights pertinent to patients’ care trajectories, such as other medical services, hospitalizations, treatment and medication history.

Observational research has long relied on finding optimization of data sources to capture the concepts of interest for the research question at hand or fit for use. Claims databases are uniquely poised to capture a holistic view of care that is delivered including procedures, prescriptions, and hospitalization information while EHRs are able to give clarity into diagnosis, severity of disease, patient characteristics and clinical outcomes. When the two data sources are combined, we can both broaden the scope of questions we can tackle, and verify confidence in the evidence we are generating.  

EHR + Claims Real-world Data Informs Glaucoma Clinical Research

Verana Health’s data regarding glaucoma patients comes directly from what doctors record in the EHR at the point of care. The captured information revolves around what happens in the physician’s office, particularly the diagnosis and ultimate outcome. The depth of this de-identified and aggregated data forms a strong foundation that reflects patient demographics and subgroups, and true clinical outcomes. In addition to what is captured in the physician’s office,  additional data comes from outside the walls of the medical practice or hospital. For example, layered onto the strong foundation of EHR data includes information about whether prescriptions actually were filled, when they were filled, as well as why patients discontinued certain medications. This combined data—linked in a compliant, de-identified fashion using industry-standard tokenization—provides a more comprehensive view of the entire patient journey and all points along the way; not just the beginning and end.

Benefits to Clinicians and Researchers

Beyond ophthalmology, combining de-identified and tokenized EHR and claims real-world data provides benefits to clinicians and researchers in other therapeutic areas, such as urology and neurology. Our combined data on the use of injectable and oral medications, patient encounters with healthcare providers, and longitudinal assessments and outcomes will help provide a broader perspective and contribute to deeper insights and advances in treatment for many urological and neurological disorders.

The ability to combine and analyze disparate de-identified data* from healthcare providers, payers, and other sources will fuel startling advances in medicine and medical research by allowing for deeper and more impactful insights. 

And that’s just the beginning.

*Verana Health meets or exceeds legal requirements to safeguard data and protect patients. For more information and guidelines, visit Verana Health’s patient privacy page.