AMA unveils Integrated Health Model Initiative


American Medical Association (AMA) announced a new collaborative initiative to “unleash a new era of better, more effective patient care” by introducing a data evolution for improving, organizing and sharing healthcare information.

Called Integrated Health Model Initiative (IHMI), the initiative aims to bring together the health and technology sectors around a common data model that is missing in healthcare. IHMI strives to pioneer a shared framework for organizing health data, emphasizing patient centric information, and refining data elements to those most predictive of achieving better outcomes.

The initiative is open to all health care and technology stakeholders, with early collaborators including the likes of IBM, Cerner, Intermountain Healthcare, American Heart Association, and American Medical Informatics Association. IHMI supports a continuous learning environment with an online platform that enables a common data model to evolve with real-world use and feedback from participants.

“We spend more than three trillion dollars a year on healthcare in America and generate more health data than ever before. Yet some of the most meaningful data — data to unlock potential improvements in patient outcomes — is fragmented, inaccessible or incomplete,” AMA CEO James L. Madara, M.D. said in a statement. “The collaborative effort of IHMI will help the health system learn how to collect, organize, and exchange patient-centered data in a common structure that captures what is most important for improving care and long-term wellness, and transform the data into a rich stream of accessible and actionable information.”

By offering a common data model for the health system to collect, organize, exchange and analyze critical data elements, IHMI imagines achieving outcomes that are more relevant to a patient’s quality of life and consistent with the patient’s lifestyle, goals, and health status. Initially though, the organization will focus its efforts in clinical areas such as hypertension, diabetes and asthma.

A common data model with clinically-validated data elements can accelerate the development of improved data organization, management and analytics. This collective effort will foster patient care models that achieve better outcomes, as well as technical innovations to address poor interoperability, cumbersome or inadequate data structures, and an overload of point-and-click tasks that dampen clinician morale.

As IHMI launches, the AMA is currently focused on hosting clinical and issue-based communities focused on costly and burdensome areas, providing a clinical validation process to determine and apply appropriate clinical frameworks, and specifying a model to encode information in the IHMI data model.

Additional communities will be developed and added to the online platform based on market needs throughout 2018.