Data Liquidity in Healthcare

Another piece of Dave Chase’s Fair Trade for Health Care as outlined in his book The Opioid Crisis Wake-Up Call is what he calls Data Liquidity. It is the idea that you can access your data, see it, contribute to it, and take it someplace else if you want. The idea that you have control over your data – the data you produce in the world, the data which is about you – is a new and growing idea in the world.


Data Liquidity is a problem with all of tech right now, but it is especially important in the healthcare industry. Chase writes, “Care teams do their best work when they have the most complete view of a patient’s health status. Anything less comes with an increased risk of harm. Likewise, your employees should have easy access to their own information in a secure patient-controlled data repository  – including the right to contribute their own data or take it elsewhere.”


In the world of social media, people (at least in Europe) have demanded to have the right to see their data and have it completely removed from a company’s server if they desire. In the world of finance, there is increasing pressure on the big three credit rating companies to be more transparent in how they determine an individual’s credit score, and some lawmakers want to push the companies to change what they consider and evaluate when generating a credit score. Within healthcare, the debate is on who owns a patient’s medical records. Does the medical provider own the records? Does the patient own the records? What records does the insurance company own?


Chase argues that patients need to own their medical records and have access to and control over them. Since most people get their insurance through their employers, Chase argues that it is up to businesses and companies to demand data liquidity and transparency within the contracts they establish with insurers and healthcare systems. It is up to the businesses which contract with employers or health systems to set fair rules related to data that give employees data power and the ability to ensure all of their providers have access to all of their pertinent records.


From tech to finance to healthcare, people are starting to see the importance of controlling data, and Chase is hopeful that this revolution will improve healthcare quality, reduce unnecessary procedures, and reduce healthcare costs.

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