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Mastering Patient Data Management: The Role of MDM in Healthcare

A medical professional entering patient data on laptop computer. Photo courtesy of the National Cancer Institute.

By Katie Joll

Patient data is exploding. Healthcare represents 30% of the global data share and is expected to climb to 36% by 2025. 

The sheer volume of these numbers creates almost limitless opportunities for expensive mistakes in patient care and missteps in compliance, not to mention the time and money wasted with old-fashioned data organization. 

This makes it extra important that healthcare organizations have robust patient data management systems in place. Human monitoring can’t possibly keep up with the volumes of data each organization sees, yet that data can play a critical role in ensuring positive patient outcomes.

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Understanding Patient Data Management

“Patient data management” refers to a system of collecting, storing, managing, and analyzing patient data. The data may come from many different sources, such as wearable devices, monitoring equipment, and doctor’s notes. 

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There are many types of patient data, including biometric monitoring information, patient health history, information relating to current medical conditions, genetic data, and lifestyle information. In managing patient care, it’s important for healthcare providers to have as complete a picture

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as possible. Sometimes, one data point may seem insignificant, but when put together with other data on the same patient, it may indicate a particular condition.

While the importance of patient data management is clear, healthcare organizations often face some common challenges, such as:

  • Rapid changes in data sources, types, and volumes.
  • Difficulty in having an up-to-date, full picture of patient data, especially if it is spread across multiple sources and systems. For example, humans are expected to reach more than 5,000 digital device interactions per day by 2025, with a huge number of those interactions being healthcare-related. 
  • Data silos within different healthcare operations. For example, one patient might have multiple different healthcare providers for different yet interrelated needs.

Data storage and data security issues. Patient data is protected by some of the strictest regulations governing privacy and security, yet healthcare is still frequently impacted by breaches. In 2022, hacking incidents and unauthorized accesses impacted thousands of patients.

The Role of Master Data Management (MDM) in Healthcare

Master Data Management (MDM) is an information management system that pulls data together into one centralized “source of truth.” It eliminates data silos so that the right people can access the right data at the right time.

In patient care, timely access to data can be critical. For example, an unconscious patient arrives at an ER. How quickly can responding providers download their history, medical conditions, allergies, and other pertinent information? Seconds may mean the difference between life and death. And if there are gaps in the data, there will be gaps in the care provided.

On the administrative side, patient data errors or inaccuracies can lead to billing mistakes. In an industry that follows each patient through all stages of the healthcare organization, inaccuracies can leave a poor impression.

How does MDM address the key challenges of patient data management? Some examples include:

  • More efficient and effective data processes; providers can have confidence that the data they see is up-to-date.
  • Automated data management processes help healthcare organizations effectively manage large, changing volumes of data.
  • Robust data governance helps healthcare organizations comply with regulations.

Key Components of MDM in Healthcare

Some key components of MDM in healthcare help organizations better handle patient data management. Those include:

  • Data integration – This is the process of pulling together data from different sources to give users a unified view. For example, data may come from medical devices, monitoring equipment, hospital records, and more.
  • Data quality – The quality of data is about its accuracy, consistency, and completeness. Additionally, it’s about its usefulness. Does your data quality help healthcare providers make better decisions or do some aspect of their job better, more efficiently, or faster? 
  • Data governance – Every successful MDM program requires a robust data governance program. This oversees the management of data to maintain integrity across the system. The data should be usable and available to those who need it, while it should only be available to those authorized to view it. As part of data governance, data security must play a key role.
  • Data stewardship – This identifies who in the organization takes responsibility for data assets. Someone needs to oversee and ensure that high-quality standards are maintained, and data usage and processes are consistent.

A high-quality MDM software solution is needed to implement Master Data Management. The software should seamlessly facilitate the key components highlighted above.

Case Study: MDM in Action

Master Data Management can help all sectors of healthcare improve how they manage patient and organizational data. A global pharmaceutical company turned to Semarchy when it needed a solution to help them pull together multiple data forms and assets across 170 countries.

The organization includes over 100,000 employees, 70 manufacturing sites, and 20 R&D sites. This meant that disparate data silos were a common issue, and gaining a complete overview of data was a challenge.

Semarchy’s xDM solution brought Master Data Management to the company, enabling them to save time on data management and, importantly, gain a 360-degree view of their customers across all systems, channels, and interactions. They soon offered a better level of personalized service and a consistent experience across the organization.

Semarchy for Healthcare Data Management

The healthcare industry is under pressure to cut costs without cutting any corners on patient care and experiences. Effectively tapping into their vast data resources can provide a solution that helps everyone.

Semarchy offers a unified healthcare data management software solution to ensure continuity of care and accurate patient data and to enable efficient, effective decision-making. Key features include:

  • A unified view of patient data.
  • Automated compliance and a robust data governance system.
  • Visibility of data across the organization.
  • Actionable reporting and analytics.
  • Clear data ownership.
  • Faster response times for data requests.

Healthcare organizations can expect a system that adapts to their organization and helps them operate with less regulatory risk. Real-time business intelligence helps organizations to identify opportunities quickly, while consolidated patient data ensures your providers have the best available information to treat patients.


The healthcare industry is under pressure to cut costs without cutting any corners on patient care and experiences. Effectively tapping into their vast data resources can provide a solution that helps everyone.

Semarchy MDM provides healthcare organizations with a solution to manage the high volumes of patient data they have available. It’s difficult to get a clear picture when data exists in disparate systems and channels, but MDM brings that data into one unified view.

For healthcare organizations, this means better decision-making and, ultimately, better patient outcomes and a more robust profit margin. Managing your data well can be critical to putting your organization ahead.

Ready to implement MDM for your healthcare organization? Your first step is to talk to Semarchy about your needs. Contact us here