“Pop health is still a pretty manual process. Having a dedicated solution, let alone a dedicated analytics platform, to address pop health is not as widespread as one might think.” — Brendan FitzGerald, research director, HIMSS Analystics
When I first heard this line, a number of thoughts came rushing into my mind around the different population health management strategies deployed today. In my experience, I’ve noticed a lot of variance in these strategies, and somehow, all of them traced back to data integration.
Some regions focus on leveraging their existing EHRs solutions. Other areas attempt to find the best point solutions and try to integrate them together. Many other organizations are looking for partners to help build and deploy more targeted solutions. Ultimately, these organizations are trying to find the right solution to achieve sustainability in these changing times.
Healthcare data: The problem of plenty and inefficient solutions
One problem that I usually see is that there has been a lot of talk around providing a holistic solution — and the industry isn’t even close. Healthcare organizations have already drained millions of dollars in the hopes of improving outcomes through new technologies, and I think there is a dire need for a change in what we promise to deliver. What organizations need now are infallible strategies that focus on achieving a better outcome.
It is never about just integrating the healthcare data!
There is a buzz in healthcare around aggregating data. However, they are far from making sense of this data.
The question which we should be asking right now is how we can help save money and continue to deliver better care. The easiest way to analyze the progress of organizations is by examining the returns on investment in terms of outcomes and revenue. And this return is only possible if organizations are successful in activating this data to ensure that every member is utilizing it to their fullest potential.
Unless healthcare members have a holistic pool of information regarding every activity in their healthcare network, they cannot ensure that they remain at the top of every process.
Taking long leaps to establish transparency in healthcare
A few months back, a tweet from the CMS Administrator, Seema Verma, took everyone by surprise, and the concept of siloed healthcare took a significant hit. Value-based care is the future, and #WheresThePrice laid the foundation for transparency in terms of cost, expenditure, quality, and data.
It is time we took this concept of transparency to a broader level, moving beyond merely the pricing to ensure the transparency of healthcare data. After all, only the right access to the correct data can result in the right outcomes.
Guest post by Dr. David Whitehouse, chief medical officer, UST Global.
“The Uberization of healthcare” has recently shown up as an expression in blogs and articles. However, each time it seems to possess a different meaning. For some, this phrase summarizes the transformation that happens when there is a deep understanding of the real hopes and needs of consumers, operationalizing them effectively. Facilitated by the latest technologies this concept is making life simpler and happier.
This concept of “uberization” keeps the comfort and concerns of consumers at heart. For others, it hints to a democratization minimizing competency, regulation, and oversight – essential ingredients to maintaining healthcare quality and standards. Some fear that this consumer empowerment will lead to people self-diagnosing, leading to the ultimate detriment of patient health with minimal support or evidence. This also raises major concerns regarding the maintenance of patient privacy. An example is when someone catches an Uber and something bad happening because the driver lacked experience.
What does all of this mean to me? Earlier this year at HIMSS in Chicago, I was looking out over the million dollar booths. I wondered how many of the vendors would remain as powerful or relevant 15 years from now. I also considered the transformation of health delivery where ACOs, PCMHs and new versions of retail health are growing. New approaches to healthcare payment and transparency are forging into the mainstream, enabling consumer empowerment, personalized medicine and cultural sensitivity. It’s all creating new levels of individuation; where we continue to struggle with effective models of behavioral change. Here is where the digitized self is beginning to show the first moves in the health field. From exercise enthusiasts to empowered consumers managing chronic illness, digestibles are being added to wearables to increase the panoply of both individualized and physiologically dynamic data, where social networking and gaming have coupled with crowd sourcing solutions and new insights to create new paths for data to create insights and action.
I was reminded that we occasionally overestimate the cognitive and logical aspects of our humanity with insufficient thought to emotional impact. Sometimes we set the bar too high for the impact disease management could have when patients are classified more specifically, bringing each individual evidence-based advice to alter their behaviors and change that path coupled with an enthusiastic coach. What we had missed was that people have messy, complicated lives with different resources practically and emotionally available both permanently and on a day-to-day basis. People who had emotional lives complicated with depression, anxiety and stress with goals for each day were not necessarily maximizing control of their chronic illness, but rather looking for moments of relief, happiness, and excitement.
I think the true power of Uber is genius. Its power partly goes beyond the world of satisfaction, which is now a major concern in medicine since it directly relates to revenue. Much of the Uber concept comes down to bliss, going beyond the typical expectations that we articulate. Satisfaction manifests when we match experiences to expectations. It goes beyond creating opportunities for moments of joy – it takes away pain points we do not even think about until they occur.