Despite all predictions on the future of our healthcare delivery system, healthcare is – and will continue to be – one of the key drivers in our economy. While the actual regulations may change, the concept of value-based payments and value-based care is here to stay. The evolution to value is one of the top agenda items facing health organizations today, and Health Information Technology will be essential to driving this key initiative forward. With new regulations like MACRA accelerating the pace of change, it is more critical than ever to have the proper information governance strategies in place to achieve the premise and promise of the Triple Aim: improving the patient experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita cost of healthcare.
This evolution to value-based care will require dramatic transformation across the healthcare ecosystem – impacting people, process and technology. All this transformation needs to occur as the underlying IT infrastructure rapidly changes and volume and variety of data continues to grow. Without a solid foundation of governance – to effectively manage the information and infrastructure throughout its lifecycle, organizations will struggle to successfully navigate to the new paradigm. Established information governance policies and practices are no longer ‘nice to have’ but ‘need to have’ strategies to effectively leverage the value in the disparate health information systems that will facilitate value-based care reporting requirements.
To get started, healthcare organizations can focus on a few high-impact strategies that have measurable impact on accelerating the journey to value:
- Enhancing Data Quality & Integrity: Data quality is integral to the accuracy of health records, and enables the ability to report on population health and other initiatives. By implementing strategies to improve the accuracy of the master patient index databases, health systems can significantly reduce the risk of diagnosis and treatment errors, while enhancing the ability to share information. An EMR is only as valuable as the ability to properly identify the correct patient. Patient safety is a key component of the Joint Commission’s agenda and the first principle of that process is to make sure you are treating the correct patient.
- Driving Down Cost: Cost reduction will continue to be a driving force facing healthcare organizations, and evaluating the underlying Health IT infrastructure is an area to find savings. These savings can come from an optimized infrastructure that helps to avoid high-capital investments with alternative shared services/outsourced delivery model. By evaluating cloud and co-location based strategies, organizations can reduce cost and better manage resources.
- Improving Outcomes: Healthcare organizations rely on core patient data to provide optimal outcomes. The ability to accurately and consistently access and link records for patients, providers, and other entities – both within and across various databases and systems in the healthcare enterprise – is essential to understand and improve outcomes.
Transforming to this new value paradigm won’t happen overnight, but implementing strategies to enhance quality, reduce cost, and improve outcomes will all accelerate the voyage.
If you’ll be at #HIMSS17, be sure to stop by Iron Mountain booth 5453 to learn more.