The Louis W. Sullivan Institute for Healthcare Innovation, which is dedicated to distribute health information technology innovation to transform quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery worldwide, announced the release of “A Year in Review: An Update on the 2013 WEDI Report & Roadmap for the Future of Healthcare Exchange.” The industry report evaluated public and private stakeholder progress in critical areas of focus.
The 2013 WEDI Report, the first roadmap for healthcare information exchange produced by WEDI since 1993, provided a framework for the next generation of healthcare information exchange designed to lower healthcare costs, improve healthcare delivery, and achieve better healthcare outcomes. In the past year, the Louis W. Sullivan Institute for Healthcare Innovation has monitored those stakeholder efforts to drive improvements through technology and data exchange, and has produced a progress report on those initiatives, which can be found here.
The initial report identified four key areas of focus and 10 related recommendations that would advance healthcare information exchange. Summarized below are assessments of how industry has performed in each of the core focus areas:
Progress rating = Green
Although the industry has lagged in driving improvements in health IT literacy, there has been continued momentum in patient information capture and patient identification. Private sector efforts, combined with a new federal vision and roadmap for health IT, are deemed to be on pace in meeting WEDI recommendations.
Progress rating = Yellow
Over the past several years, new payment models have leveraged technological advances to rapidly iterate, evolve, and scale across the country. However, models such as ACOs have yet to fully mature, and their success and sustainability remain uncertain – particularly in light of the mixed performance seen in 2014. A framework of core attributes and technological functionalities has yet to be developed and the industry needs further directed efforts to achieve the recommendations outlined in the initial report.
Data Harmonization and Exchange
Progress rating = Yellow
While initial efforts implementing the building blocks of a national health IT infrastructure have largely succeeded, there is widespread consensus in the public and private sectors that there must be a renewed focus on further standardizing and harmonizing data to enable interoperable exchange. These efforts are in an early stage and ongoing challenges of meeting recommendations to efficiently exchange and report data remain.
Innovative Encounter Models
Progress rating = Green
Healthcare consumerism has created a vibrant testing ground for venture capital, federal pilots, and industry initiatives to explore new ways of providing patient-centered care across the continuum. Given the explosive growth of diverse innovative encounters in 2014, it is expected that federal legislation, reimbursement policies, and consumer demand for services such as telehealth will further advance in 2015.
“As a company committed to bringing value and simplicity to the health care industry, Availity is delighted to continue our sponsorship of the WEDI report,” said Scott Herbst, Availity’s Senior Vice President and General Manger of Provider Solutions. “While progress has been made, it’s important the industry – particularly providers, health plans and health IT vendors – continues collaborating on meaningful health IT solutions to ensure we achieve the trifecta of better quality, improved outcomes and lower costs.”
Louis W. Sullivan, M.D., WEDI founder and honorary chair of the WEDI Report Executive Steering Committee commented on the industry’s progress: “As an industry, healthcare is advancing toward the system we envisioned nearly 25 years ago – leveraging technology to improve care and lower costs. But it is also clear that a significant amount of work remains before us. The health IT ecosystem continues to increase in complexity, driven by regulatory and legislative changes, data interoperability challenges and the increasing importance of consumer-driven care. The Louis W. Sullivan Institute for Healthcare Innovation is committed to maintaining a leadership role across both public and private healthcare sectors to ensure that stakeholders can efficiently get the right data, to the right place, at the right time.”
In 1993, the original WEDI Report brought together public and private industry to develop a roadmap for healthcare information exchange. In 2013, on the 20th anniversary of that original report and with the Honorable Louis W. Sullivan, M.D.’s leadership, WEDI developed a new report which laid out the future of healthcare information exchange. The Louis W. Sullivan Institute for Healthcare Innovation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, named in honor of The Honorable Louis W. Sullivan, M.D, dedicated to the transformation of healthcare delivery through the creative application of innovation and technology.