I wrote a blog a couple of weeks ago about patient-powered research and I want to follow it up with a focus on population health. Population health efforts are intensely data-driven and require more data than is captured between the walls of hospitals or clinics. I’m working on an initiative right now to plan out how both structured and unstructured data can be harvested from EMRs and from social media (for example) to gain a 360 view of the patient population in a metropolitan area.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 75 percent of the country’s eligible professionals and more than 91 percent of hospitals are on electronic health records certified for Stage 1 meaningful use. With the vast majority of personal health information being recorded in a sharable form, we’re poised to accelerate initiatives that will drive the need for HIT from many respects including:
- Analytics – The accumulation and aggregation of data needed to improve outcomes and improve medicine.
- Interoperability – The sharing of multiple sources of 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. Advancements in genomic profiling and personalized medicine will eventually innovate how we treat chronic diseases.
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.
The next couple of years look to be promising for the advancement of population health and it’s correlation to precision medicine through significant advancements in analytics. Perficient is well suited to attack these projects.
Population Health will be a hot topic at this year’s HIMSS conference, stop by and see Perficient at #HIMSS15 booth #4460 to continue the conversation.