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AMA launches Integrated Health Model Initiative for sharing data

Chris Nerney
Chris Nerney, Contributing Writer |
AMA launches Integrated Health Model Initiative for sharing data

Aiming to “unleash a new era of better, more effective patient care,” the American Medical Association (AMA) on Monday unveiled the Integrated Health Model Initiative (IHMI), a platform designed to create a common data model and shared framework for health information.

“We spend more than three trillion dollars a year on healthcare in America and generate more health data than ever before,” AMA CEO James L. Madara, M.D., said in announcing the initiative. “Yet some of the most meaningful data – data to unlock potential improvements in patient outcomes – is fragmented, inaccessible or incomplete.”

The AMA’s goal is for IHMI to offer a common data model for providers to “collect, organize, exchange and analyze critical data elements.” IHMI initially will focus on clinical areas such as hypertension, diabetes and asthma, chronic diseases that exact high economic and societal costs.

IHMI’s online platform will support a continuous learning environment that enables a common data model to evolve with real-world use and feedback from participants, the AMA said. Early participants in the initiative include IBM, Cerner, Intermountain Healthcare, the American Heart Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Medical Informatics Association.

“A common data model with clinically validated data elements can accelerate the development of improved data organization, management and analytics,” the medical group said. “This collective effort will foster patient care models that achieve better outcomes, as well as technical innovations to address poor interoperability, cumbersome or inadequate data structures, and an overload of point-and-click tasks that dampen clinician morale.”

While IHMI is launching with four communities – hypertension management, diabetes prevention, asthma functional status and patient goals, and defining wellness – AMA will add communities through 2018 based on market needs.

Any healthcare and technology stakeholders can participate in IHMI, the AMA said.