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3 Key Considerations for Implementing IBM’s Unified Data Model

Healthcare organizations have been implementing the IBM UDMH (Unified Data Model for Healthcare) for the last seven years because they realize that connecting critical data helps gain insight into improving care, controlling risk, managing population health and providing accurate reporting both internally and externally.

To reap these benefits, there is a critical need to plan the IBM UDMH journey in advance, ensuring the implementation will meet goals, objectives and expectations generally. There are many considerations to be considered in this planning effort, three of these will be discussed in this blog.

Determine the Tenancy Structure

The UDMH model is designed to support a multi-tenant data repository. Before diving in head first, the following need to be considered: Should tenancy be defined by organization? By site? By some combination thereof? By something else? Is there a true need for multitenancy within the organization in question? The proper decision on how to apply tenancy will ensure that the data is secure, provides the ability to report and analyze within and across the enterprise and positions the organization for future growth and expansion.

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Source System Integration

Disparate sources will feed data into the UDMH based repository, including data domains such as: clinical data, claims data, pharmacy data, and many others. Ensuring the proper integration of the sourced data will eliminate or reduce redundancy and grain inconsistencies, and enable timely and accurate reporting and analysis going forward.

Master Data Management and Reference Data Management

Managing patient, practitioner, location and other master data is also critical to reducing duplicate instances of the information ingested, and plays a key role in providing successful and accurate reporting and analytics. Additionally, to report and analyze the data consistently across the organization, decisions related to the normalization of reference codes, such as NDC codes, RXNorm, GPI codes, to name a few, is critical to maintaining a consistent and quality data set within the UDMH based repository. The UDMH is designed to support the management of data from across disparate sources and codes, however proper planning can impact the effectiveness and ease of use of the implementation.

This may seem like a large and daunting task but Perficient has worked with many health systems and has established repeatable implementation patterns and understands the pros and cons of these decisions, and works with health systems to guide them through this process. It is our goal and experience to make your UDMH implementation go smoothly, and position your organization for success.

The Perficient Healthcare Leadership team will be available at HIMSS 2018 in Las Vegas, NV in booth #2671 to talk about our real-world experience with data, analytics, and IBM’s UDMH. We are looking forward to talking with you.

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Rudy Julian, Technical Architect

Rudy Julian is a senior data warehouse analyst within Perficient's national healthcare practice. Rudy has more than 30 years of information technology experience, including six years in the healthcare industry. He has extensive experience working as a data/ information architect - laying out the vision, strategy, roadmap, architecture and design of data warehouse and business intelligence solutions. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience around the development of data and information management practices including data governance, standards, principles, procedures and processes.

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