The 2016-2017 State of Data Sharing

When we first conducted the original State of Data Sharing for Healthcare Analytics, we did not expect the response we received. With over 300 participants, not only were the quantity of the replies impressive, but also the quality of answers provided. The message was very clear: while healthcare analytics may be in infancy, the people around data sharing are ready to start.

Last year’s survey was a notable success. The follow-up webinar had over 300 attendees and the report was downloaded over 500 times. Major health news organizations picked up the survey, including Health Data Management, FierceHealth IT, Health IT Security, Cantech Letter, and HealthIT Interoperability. The success of the survey was not just because the quality of the information provided by respondents, but the fact audiences are hungry to learn about the best practices in data sharing.

Demand for healthcare organizations to share data is high. We know from last year’s survey many organizations are already sharing data. Yet, despite the need for sophisticated methods, organizations rely on simplistic approaches to managing privacy, leaving them – and their patients – at risk. To begin addressing this gap, the industry must identify what challenges healthcare organizations face and what methods are used when sharing sensitive information.

This report builds on last year’s findings. Some key highlights include:

  • Nearly 6 in 10 respondents lack complete confidence in how their organization manages data sharing practices
  • 3 out of 4 respondents reveal that their organizations are using risky approaches to managing privacy when sharing data
  • Almost 1/3 of sharing involves the use of data sharing agreements: while legal and technical responsibilities may be in place, privacy controls may not
  • Breaches are the number one barrier to sharing data, followed closely by low staff knowledge
  • Almost 1/4 respondents indicated their organizations were using risk-based de-identification