Data at the heart of healthcare
Data at the heart of healthcare

Gabrielle Speijer, MD

VBHC Thinkers Magazine, 12/2020

Data at the heart of healthcare

Insight in the complete patient’s health situation really needs to grow as the information now available is insufficient and on top of that, this small percentage of information is difficult to access, in systems such as an EPD or ECD Obtaining insight into a patient’s overall situation and benchmarking data rapidly, is not among the digital flavors offered within our current healthcare system This is a blind spot Dr Gabriëlle Speijer, Radiation Oncologist at the Haga Hospital in The Hague, the Netherlands, is a Data Driven Doctor, who considers technology necessary for a better understanding of a patient’s overall health situation The data driven doctor translates the basic values of the Hippocratic Oath into the possibilities of today, demonstrates leadership in the ever expanding healthcare landscape, intending to improve healthcare for all Here, Dr Speijer reveals her vision, findings, and future perspectives towards increased value for patients

Back to the basics

In 2019 Dr Gabrielle Speijer was appointed as a Future 50 HIMSS International HealthIT leader one of the worldwide pioneers in digital healthcare innovation, for presenting the Data Driven Doctor Dr Speijer explains, “In my department, I bumped into the limitations of the current digital resources For our physics department of radiotherapy, we have different care pathways with multiple checkpoints Until now, it has not been possible to learn from one patient and translate this to the next patient As a consequence, I took a deep dive into the various aspects of information technology and what’s needed to get data to work After leading sessions at the HIMSS 2018 conference, raising awareness on the importance of Snomed for semantic interoperability in the Dutch Federation of Medical Specialists, she presented the thought of the Data Driven Doctor in 2019 at the HIMSS Europe conference The Data Driven Doctor goes back to the fundamental professional values the Hippocratic Oath and translates it into today’s technological possibilities ..“The healthcare professional becomes the data curator of the patient data, restoring the natural trust role in the healthcare professional’s main task of communication This step is a crucial one in leading technology for the best health and care(advice)

CatalyzIT’s Goals

Because improving healthcare by technology is broader than her own practice Dr Speijer decided to found CatalyzIT

Doctors nowadays should still be able to follow the Hippocratic Oath including necessary technology Nevertheless, many doctors do not Therefore, Dr Speijer proposes a contemporary version of the oath 2.0: As a healthcare professional, I promise to entrust care and health to my patient For this I will:

  1. Use the available technology
  2. Make healthcare information available (to the appropriate sources)
  3. Make the healthcare information available to the patient and the knowledge network of colleagues
  4. Treat healthcare information confidentially

“Until the beginning of this century, new technologies were immediately available to doctors However, the last couple of years, the increased emphasis on safety and quality has put a big focus on certifications and protocols Currently, we are gradually transitioning to collaboration with transparency towards each other Hereby, I also say that data must be transparent and at the same time provide integrity”

Creating patient value

To the question ‘how can CatalyzIT contribute to VBHC implementation?’, Dr Speijer replied ::“What we are doing now, working together more efficiently, creating patient value ( is simply a matter of being a doctor With the available resources, we are obliged to deliver the best care possible in a confidential manner Besides my personal knowledge and experience, I soon hope to achieve knowledge cross domain ”In essence, it is all about the connectivity with the patient and connectivity to retrieve expertise in the healthcare landscape, which are both missing We need to take the lead in technology and information/data “Communication with a patient must be considered as highly valuable Only by interpreting together we’ll get insight in the complete health situation By making allowance for the patient’s perception and important signals around his or her disease process by listening carefully, we’ll be producing valuable data real time visualised and stored sustainably CatalyzIT aims at guaranteeing the integrity of healthcare information and breaking through the silos Once the blind spot has been removed, insights across domains can enable new breakthroughs in medicine ..“By enabling unlimited interdisciplinary collaboration, disciplines can be linked together that we have never seen before” CatalyzIT core business is to create this mindset for cross domain thinking and acting.

Personal ECD necessary

“We should start our data collection at the beginning of life, not when someone becomes ill To do so, every person needs to get his/her personal EHR, to which different disciplines could get access if information needs to be added (from district nurses to medical experts). “Everything that becomes available to the right person, helps you to process it exceedingly”

Role of other stakeholders

To get the message and implementation of data integrity and sharing across, other stakeholders in the healthcare landscape also must play their part “Of course we should use the knowledge of the industry But the insights of the medical experts, to develop new technologies are leading The issue is however, as of now we cannot manage to arrange data curation We need to know if a patients’ healthcare information is available, who provided it, who changed it and cross domain check on it.

Doctor specifies technology

Every doctor should be able to specify technology in the clinical process The idea of preferred partnership hinders the development of a safe health and care landscape And even more with AI and ML being applied in our sector The medical and technical world need each other and should be aware to work beyond each other’s biases To keep on track for suitable developments you need a dynamic multidisciplinary team that continuously add their expertise to these developments and thereby value to healt.

Data integrity and AI

As mentioned before, to make progress, steps need to be taken in terms of collaboration (incl data sharing) and looking at data curation (incl data integrity) Dr Speijer continues with: “There are two things I would like to highlight here Firstly, AI technology and data must be assessed separately, because when technology does not suffice, it becomes dangerous The data must be extractable from the technology, to be able to continuously adapt and improve with the high speed of technology development Secondly, we need to be cautious with creating platforms As long as the foundations are not properly organized, platforms could even create additional silos, which could give a big administrative burde.

Doctors as value curators

“Creating knowledge on data is crucial Take the lead, stand up, and tune in to the specific patient experience As a doctor, you are a direct contact in a large network around and with the patient To be able to do this optimally, you must ensure that the entire multidisciplinary team, can also tune in at the right moment Creating knowledge on data is crucial in the cure and care For good healthcare we need each other.

About the author

Gabriëlle Speijer is a Radiation Oncologist at the Haga Hospital, founder of the healthcare innovation company CatalyzIT, HIMSS Future50 International HealthIT leader and member of the ICT&health editorial board.