Customer Experience and Design

New Models of Care Delivery Fuel Health IT Discussions

New models of care delivery are inevitable. Whether it’s accountable care, or another favored form, the current incentive structure is evolving. This is occurring in hopes that waste can be eliminated and quality can improve.

Although there is still much uncertainty, the inevitable truth is that the need to streamline and share information is central to this effort. Health IT systems will facilitate physicians and clinicians in meeting the highest standards of patient care through electronic participation in a patient’s continuity of care among multiple providers. In the very near future, providers must be able to identify, access, and seamlessly share patient information to drive efficiencies.

Health IT enables accountable care by:

Providing a Strong Analytical Foundation: The accountable care approach must be based on a strong information management foundation including enterprise data warehousing, advanced analytics and data governance. If organizations want to track outcomes for judging quality and episodic care management, then near real-time, holistic and integrated information will be critical to success. A roadmap must be developed for technology to support the new world of accountable care. Business Intelligence also makes it possible to analyze a patient population to study a disease state, such as diabetes, through clinical studies of a narrow geography. Healthcare organizations then have the ability to handle care issues across the geography and the public health questions that result.

Increasing Data Exchange in Health Communities: Fragmented data across healthcare communities leads to increased cost and decreased patient experience. The ability to exchange clinical information will be critical to ACO success. Beyond the important aspects of delivering quality care, there are real business drivers that favor an environment where clinical and cost information are combined into a comprehensive system delivery model. The Enterprise HIE eco-system is one approach that innovative healthcare systems are using to enable them to connect patients and physicians together in a more collaborative environment.

Increasing Collaboration Among Patients, Physicians, and Healthcare Communities: Enabling patients and physicians into the design of care increases the financial effectiveness of an ACO, and there are many smart options available to invite collaboration. Healthcare portals can be used to empower patients by providing meaningful access to their care and connect a patient to the entire health system that impacts their care. Similarly, community portals can be created to connect patients to those with similar disease states for information sharing, support, and advice. This empowers patients to work with ACOs in creating cost saving, and patient centric, clinical care. Organizations can also use physician portals to connect physicians to the critical components of clinical care which can then be incorporated into executive decision making. This would enable stakeholders of a healthcare system to come together to create better services and relationships within the community that they serve and increase an ACO’s success as a result.

Given that the healthcare of today and the models represented under accountable care are vastly different, there is a lot of discussion going on in healthcare circles across the country. I am certain that the ideas shared will continue to flow If you have some thoughts you would like to add to the discourse, then please make a comment below.

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David Hastoglis

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