Health Data Management - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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