3M TACKLES CHALLENGES OF MOVING TO A VALUE-BASED WORLD -
With solutions in over 20 countries and 7,500 hospitals worldwide, 3M Health Information Systems (HIS) is the global leader in coding, classification, grouping, and performance management software and consulting services. From improving efficiency of medical records coding, to outlining success in value-based care, 3M HIS helps tackle challenges in a fee-forservice world, while helping to move clients into a value-based world. Garri Garrison, Vice President of Performance Management, 3M
What emerging technologies hold the most potential for the healthcare industry?
New and emerging technologies that address the growing demand for performance management analytics hold significant promise. Although industry organizations are already using a variety of analytics tools today, I don’t think these tools have reached their full potential. Many provider and payer organizations continue to focus on single vertical views of data—within just one facility, for example—rather than analyzing operational outcomes across healthcare delivery systems and patient populations. We have to understand interdependencies between sites of care, as well as caregivers, if we are to uncover meaningful data insights. Only then will we be able to identify the root cause of inefficiencies and promote real and sustainable improvements in healthcare quality and cost. We also will see consumer-directed care programs become more mainstream as patients become more actively involved in managing their own care. This trend will be enhanced by technology advancements and further investment in telemedicine and virtual health. Also, watch for more innovation on the horizon related to the Internet of Things. Faced with many competing priorities, healthcare organizations must determine how best to leverage these emerging technologies to improve patient care and lower costs.
What are the challenges associated with strategically implementing innovative technologies?
New technologies, tools and platforms often come with people and process challenges. Change can be difficult for medical and operational teams, making change management an essential component of any technology implementation. Culture is a word we hear a lot lately, but the culture of your organization can create roadblocks and ultimately be a huge factor in whether a new technology succeeds. We’ve also seen organizations underestimate the importance of planning for scale when designing a data architecture strategy. Associated with that, organizations need to factor in data normalization needs and consider any issues in securing data use rights. Both issues must be carefully considered during the planning process to prevent problems down the road.
How can innovative technologies help healthcare organizations achieve the coveted triple aim?
Providers and payers share similar goals centered around the three dimensions of the Triple Aim. The most effective way to achieve these goals and reduce costs is to adopt technologies that foster collaboration between payers and providers. Payers should share as much data as possible with providers and invest in the data infrastructure needed to give providers point-of-care access to information. Payers should invest in tools that are proven to lower medical and administrative costs and enhance quality of care—and then share these tools with providers. Examples include tools that stratify clinical risk and analyze pathways of care, allowing care management teams to focus on the critical few. Likewise, providers must be willing to make a concerted effort to improve data quality and incorporate administrative claims data and other types of data from payers into their daily workflow. This includes data about access patterns or data about patients whose disease progression varies from the norm.
How can organizations justify investments in new technologies?
Regardless of the investment, healthcare organizations should always ask three key questions when allocating budget dollars: Will this investment improve patient care? Will it help us be more efficient at delivering care? Will the investment help lower costs? Answering ‘yes’ to these questions directly connects the investment to the Triple Aim. Investing in new technology is no different. A healthcare executive should take a hard look at emerging technologies with these same three questions in mind.