I’m going to take a “improve / disseminate disease management and improve outcomes of the group” view of Population Health. The technology solutions that can be applied are vast. For the sake of this blog, I’d like to talk about these four:
- Analytics – The accumulation and aggregation of data needed to improve outcomes and improve medicine.
- Interoperability – The sharing of clinical data needed to manage patient interactions.
- Patient Engagement – The conversations and interactions with the patient when they are not within the four walls of traditional clinical setting.
- Financial Management – The connection between the patient payment and the quality received.
An integrated analytics platform for improving population health provides insights to care providers, case managers and the individual patient. Care providers can see which patients need important health screenings or care interventions, setting the stage for enhanced preventive care and better management of chronic diseases. Patients can now be engaged at a higher level to achieve their care goals through many patient engagement platforms including both active and passive participation through portals and remote monitoring devices.
Interoperability is a key element of population health because all of this data is never in application, database or even one data center locality. Integrated systems streamline data sharing and support population health initiatives; however, many organizations don’t have a clear vision for how to meet the demands of the ever-changing healthcare industry.
While the technologies employed to achieve these goals most certainly include a data warehouse, analytic / predictive modeling and perhaps reasoning tools, I think the integration challenge is vast and perhaps overlooked. Most of what I read is very focused on more appealing topics like the dashboard or the cool visualization tool. However, integration of this sort requires state of the art integration technology to do the heavy lifting on moving data and correlating data for the population health analytics platform.
Last, but certainly not least, there is the challenge of understanding the financial impact of treating the patient. Not speaking in terms of profitability here, but simply “are we putting our financial means behind the right care or populations of patients to achieve the best outcomes”. It is impossible to know without understanding cost vs. quality at the patient level.
How do we understand total cost of care? The Perficient High-Performance Costing Expressway enables transparency of fully burdened margin by service, patient and procedure. For decades, spreadsheets and costing software have been the best alternatives in determining cost of care. It is now more important than ever to transform these methods and leverage administrative, clinical and financial data in order to gain control of healthcare costs. Creating transparent costing models to indicate profitability across multiple dimensions of data is the key to driving healthcare costs down.
Embracing data-driven decision made for populations of patients requires agile thinking to pinpoint and respond to the short- and long-term needs of the organization. This shift requires finance departments to transcend from the typical focus on aggregating data to a value-added analytical view of hospital data. This new approach will provide greater visibility into changes in variables and assumptions and will require organizations to fully understand and ensure transparency exists for key performance indicators.
I will be speaking in conjunction with Oracle CMIO Dr. Sanjay Udoshi and Lesli Adams, MPA, Director of Clinical Informatics at the upcoming Population Health Colloquium in Philadelphia #PopHealth15.
Please join us at the MINI SUMMIT IV: WHO IS YOUR CHAMPION OF CLINICAL OUTCOMES? NAVIGATING ENTERPRISE-WIDE ANALYTICS AND THE DIGITAL SAFETY NET on Tuesday, March 24th at 1:30 EST.
For more information download our white paper: Aligning Patient Outcomes with Financial Data