Hospital admissions and the importance of metadata on patient experience

Recently, I had the misfortune of attending hospital for surgery and despite the excellent care on hospital, the experience could have been made worse before I even reached the medical staff.

In planning for surgery, I needed to coordinate with four groups, my GP, my specialist, the local health precinct and the hospital itself. Each needed proof of identity with my name, age, medical card number, next of kin and so on. At every presentation, regardless of my pain that day, I might have had to reenter my information into another form which duplicating information or could risk of making mistakes that would make the handover of care error prone.

Yet I was fortunate enough to never have to give this information more than once. My data followed me from my initial consult until my speedy discharge. This information will flow from my general practitioner, to hospital and back to ensure quality care and follow up. But more than just tackling my health, this data will cross from a state hospital to federal health departments who will use that information to track the state of this hospital and every other one in their efforts to measure the health of our population and our health system.

What’s more, this isn’t happening just for me, but for every person in Australia. Thousands of times a day across hundreds of systems. Tracking millions of interactions. All effortless little ways that are making how people access health care quicker and more accurate.

Why is this important to the Aristotle Metadata Registry?

Because it shows the importance of metadata management in real terms. By building good definitions of data that are agreed upon by different agencies a process of data governance is built that helps systems interact. When this works smoothly, it helps to reduce patient burden when they are at their most vulnerable. It builds the comparable information needed to track changes in complex health systems and makes improving the health of people at a population level an achievable goal. This is also why Aristotle is dedicated to open source, to make sure this level of sophisticated health system management is available for everyone.

That’s why I worked to build Aristotle – because good data gives us healthy people, and I want to help make that vision possible for as many people as possible.

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