By Cheryl Reifsnyder, PhD
As a leading provider of data and advanced analytics, Veradigm understands the critical role real-world data (RWD) play in supporting researchers and other healthcare stakeholders during public health crises such as the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.
The Value of EHR Data
EHR Data: Both Timely and Clinically Rich
For studying COVID-19, EHR data proved superior to other data sources—such as claims data—for two reasons: the timeliness with which it could be accessed and its clinical richness. EHR data can often be accessed with a time lag of only one week to a month. EHR data also contains clinical information that enables researchers to gain additional understanding of COVID-19.
Throughout the pandemic, most COVID-19 studies focused on hospitalized patients. Hospitals possessed data on the most severe COVID cases; however, hospital data could not provide information about the community spread of COVID or patient outcomes post discharge. Data from ambulatory EHRs provide insight into COVID’s movement through communities as well as post discharge information for previously hospitalized patients.
Veradigm’s Ambulatory EHR Database
One of Veradigm’s key contributions to the fight against COVID-19 has been to make timely, national-level, research-ready data, derived from EHRs, available to researchers to aid in understanding the emerging COVID-19 pandemic.
Veradigm offers access to one of the largest commercially available databases of de-identified ambulatory EHR records for life science research. It contains data extracted from and standardized across four of the top EHRs in the United States, EHRs used by nearly 200,000 providers. The dataset includes over 180 million patients in the most recent five years. It captures standardized EHR entries, including patients’ demographics, diagnoses, history, vitals, lab results, and treatments.
Linking Claims and Ambulatory EHR Datasets
Through partnerships, Veradigm also provides claims data linked to patients in Veradigm’s ambulatory EHR datasets. The claims data are mapped into Veradigm’s ambulatory EHR datasets and consist of closed and open claims. Of the 180 million ambulatory patients found in the most recent five years of data, 45 million patients link to the closed claims data. An additional 18 million link to the open claims data.
Linking EHR data to claims data provides researchers with patients’ key clinical details along with information about their hospitalization and costs of other health services. In addition, review of retrospective COVID-19 studies using linked EHR and claims data demonstrates that linked datasets can deliver a far more accurate and complete picture of patients’ medical states than either data source on its own.
Key Takeaways from our Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Veradigm’s efforts to support COVID-19 research efforts have shown that we cannot focus only on hospital-based research. Data derived solely from hospitals cannot provide insight into the full range of COVID-19’s effects.
Conversely, ambulatory EHR data continue to play an important role in broadening our understanding of COVID-19.
However, research use of EHR data requires a ready, large-scale source. We repeatedly observed this challenge throughout the pandemic: Stakeholders needed research evidence from EHRs, but most of the EHR data available for research purposes covered only a single health care system or was restricted to a limited geographical area. In many cases, the EHR data captured only hospital-based care.
This challenge limited researchers’ ability to understand the full spectrum of COVID-19 patients at the national level. Fortunately, Veradigm continues to have standardized data from thousands of practices across the country, well-suited to address this challenge. EHR data can also provide clinical information such as test results and confirmatory diagnoses, details not available at scale in claims data.
EHR data may not answer all COVID-19—related questions. However, EHR data is an integral part of a larger data network that includes both clinical study results and other RWD sources. Taken together, these enable the research needed to combat both current and future public health emergencies.
How Researchers Can Leverage the Veradigm Network to Support the Fight Against COVID-19
The Veradigm Network is well-positioned to help life sciences researchers derive insights around the continuing COVID-19 pandemic:
- Veradigm’s ambulatory EHR data is easy-to-use, delivering a unique combination of comprehensive-scale and research-ready data
- Streamlined access to over 180 million patient records by combining multiple EHR data sources within the Veradigm Network of EHRs
- Standardized organization and definitions of variables across EHR sources
- Geographic, demographic, and social diversity to draw more meaningful insights
- Because the Veradigm Network of EHRs is the source of data itself, we can help you uncover insights typically found in unstructured notes
- Uncover a robust view of the patient journey with linkage enabled, token agnostic EHR data
- Discover timely, actionable real-world evidence to improve patient experience and outcomes, and demonstrate how your products can benefit appropriate patient populations
- Veradigm’s Real-World Evidence team can help you leverage real-world practice data to generate insights for:
- Epidemiology, Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR), and Market Access initiatives
- Registry and study implementation utilizing data extracted from EHR systems, registries and linked administrative claims databases
- Real world evidence communication plans through internal reports and peer-reviewed manuscripts and presentations
- Address safety surveillance, reimbursement, health economics, and brand analyses
- Support design, execution, and final assessment of research at the point of care activities
Some healthcare technology companies deliver clinical data for BioPharma; some turn that data into insights. Others serve providers directly through point-of-care clinical software or outreach platforms. Veradigm does it all with the Veradigm Network, a dynamic community working together to support today’s biggest healthcare challenges.
For more information on how Veradigm can help deliver real world data and real world evidence to meet your needs, click here.
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