Preventive medical services traditionally occur within a conglomerate of divergent clinical care settings. When these systems are integrated to become fully interoperable, Health IT can be a catalyst for disease-management programs by 1) promoting preventive medicine services and 2) reducing the costs associated with these critical healthcare services overall.
Strategic opportunities in preventive medicine include:
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Improving quality of life: By creating a preventive, community-based medicine program, interoperable care creates integrated systems through which the quality of life for each patient can be optimized.
Enabling targeted healthcare services: A single repository of clinical information allows public health and healthcare systems to more effectively create healthcare programs that target those patients who can benefit in more cost-effective and preventive healthcare services. By considering clinical results and looking at other factors such as ethnicity, gender and social-economic criteria, healthcare systems can develop targeted programs that will deliver healthcare services to the at-risk population in more cost-effective measures.
Increasing potential value by encouraging group purchasing: Having a group of patients in a group collaborative can enable them to work collectively in both improving care services and in the purchasing of healthcare services, products and materials. By aligning these groups together, volume-based purchasing can occur and help to more effectively drive down both the individual and community-based cost of healthcare services. Health systems can easily identify these groups and then empower them to take collective action to reduce the cost of healthcare services.
Encouraging focus groups to support one another: Preventive medicine is the best way to ensure the overall quality of life for individual citizens and entire geographic areas. Enhancing integration between the critical components of preventive medicine has the potential to increase the power of preventive medicine exponentially. Collaboration will drive down the cost of medical care while simultaneously increasing the health of a given area’s population.