Data Quarantine in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Originally published 4 May 2020 | Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes

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Our healthcare information is trapped. It is trapped in the proprietary data models of the electronic medical record and in our healthcare systems' data warehouses. This reality has become strikingly clear as the COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the globe, killing more than 20,000 people in the United States alone. We need answers but struggle to address even the simplest questions. How many individuals are infected? Who is at highest risk for developing severe infection? What therapies are being used to treat hospitalized patients? This crisis is testing the limits of our public health and healthcare systems in many ways, including a "quarantined" health information system. This perspective reviews several deficiencies in healthcare information technology that currently limit our ability to deal with the pandemic and suggests current solutions moving forward.

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