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The top 5 benefits of using the OMOP Common Data Model in healthcare analytics

The OMOP Common Data Model is enhancing data standardization and transparency in healthcare, but it’s still a fairly new concept which brings questions around how it works and why it’s worthwhile.

What is the OMOP common data model?

The Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership (OMOP) Common Data Model (CDM) is an open community data standard that began as a public-private partnership with the goal of improving healthcare research standards, methods, and reliability.

By standardizing the way data is transmitted, received, and interpreted, the OMOP CDM creates more efficient analyses and more reliable real-world evidence.

Having data in this uniform format allows for healthcare organizations across the globe to collaborate more effectively and advance healthcare together; it empowers companies to “speak” the same data language.

What are the biggest challenges of working with healthcare data?

We’ve learned a lot about healthcare data sharing and collaboration from the COVID-19 pandemic – and many experts have different opinions on what the future of data looks like. What most agree on, however, is that collaboration across the healthcare ecosystem is critical.

One of the challenges facing the healthcare industry today is the process of combining disparate datasets. Every interaction a person has within the healthcare system results in data collection, but that collection usually occurs in different systems.

EHR records collect data at the point of care but are often confined to specific care networks. Claims data is collected for insurance billing and reimbursement purposes in a different format. Plus, research and patient demographic data exist in yet another place.

Combining datasets from various sources is increasingly difficult and time-consuming as there are an ever-growing number of new platforms and applications collecting data in different ways. Even if two systems collect the same information in a different order, the data extracts will be in a different format requiring extra work to ingest and analyze.

What are the benefits of data standardization?

Having a common format for collecting, organizing, and communicating data – i.e., data standardization – benefits many across the healthcare ecosystem.

1. Empower more collaborative research

Increasing secure data sharing and transparency enables better collaboration in research initiatives. Whether to understand patient patterns, for a clinical trial, or in post-market surveillance, being able to access large amounts of data in a standard format allows researchers to focus on their analyses – not figuring out how they’ll combine various datasets or if it’s even possible to combine the different data they have.

Organizations that transition to the OMOP CDM can access resources provided by others in the community and collaborate with other organizations who also use this common data model.

2. Improve communication across the globe

OMOP CDM can improve collaboration beyond the U.S. healthcare system. It puts everyone in the global healthcare community on the same page with a common data “language” to use across research teams and large networks.

Collaboration at this level can open doors to studies we may not have been able to previously conduct. If data across the globe is structured the same way, it enables collaboration among organizations in different countries.

Data standardization includes data dictionaries and vocabularies. As more international studies are conducted, is critical that all parties adopt the same standards, vocabularies, and structure to communicate effectively and generate reliable evidence.

3. Provide opportunity for large-scale analytics

With more data comes a newfound level of opportunity for larger scale studies with more reliable outcomes.

Research teams no longer have to be bogged down by data collection or trying to convert data from various sources into their structure. Instead, they can dive into analyses and comparisons much faster, with more information available than before.

The OMOP Common Data Model version 5.4 includes more tables and fields, unleashing more possibilities to analyze healthcare outcomes and patterns. Included in these data are information like actual healthcare costs, death data, care sites, and much more. With more information available in the same structure, larger studies can be performed, and results can be reproduced easier for more accurate insights.

4. Share tools and methodology

Having a common data model is already creating a ripple effect. Data networks have been introduced across the global healthcare community, with individuals from various organizations meeting regularly to discuss new research, their methodologies, and other insights.

The European Health Data & Evidence Network (EHDEN) has 23 operating partners working together on evidence generation, data analysis and research education, and communication strategies. The network aims to enhance the discovery and analysis of health data in Europe by building a network of data sources standardized to a common data model (the OMOP CDM).

The Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI) program is an open-source, international network of researchers and databases, powered by a central coordinating center. The coordinating center leverages the OMOP CDM to ensure consistency across all the data collected and utilized within the program.

5. Answer healthcare questions with real-world evidence

Data matching rarely occurs perfectly the first time. It creates double work as researchers figure out how they’ll aggregate the data then ensure their methodology resulted in an accurate view of the newly combined dataset.

The OMOP CDM eliminates the need to combine different forms of data, largely reducing the risk of human error because all the data fields already match. This saves time at the onset of the study, and more importantly, increases confidence in study results.  To take it a step further, organizations can work with vendors who offer primary source data, ensuring even higher standards of accuracy and reliability.

Realize the benefits of the OMOP Common Data Model at your organization

Inovalon’s primary source, Real-World Data is available in the OMOP CDM version 5.4 format. Discover more insights at greater speed – and with a higher level of confidence – with our diverse, representative data.

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By Inovalon