Healthcare Information Technology: Key Enabler of Success for New Models of Care Delivery
Healthcare is shifting towards a reimbursement system that’s focused more on paying for quality than volume. Incentives are shifting towards more integrated care delivery, with a continued focus on managing populations of patients. Healthcare organizations today need to prepare for a world that involves more accountability. The consensus on what ails the U.S. health system, as well as the availability of new technologies, has led to the creation of new models of delivery, such as accountable care organizations (ACOS) and integrated health organizations. These healthcare models are designed to promote accountability, share risk and savings, and improve outcomes for the health of a defined population. Meeting this challenge begins with a strong foundation in Healthcare Information Technology (HCIT) and appropriate technology solutions including revenue cycle management, electronic medical records and health information exchange. Starting with data capture and risk analysis, then sharing between locations and multi-vendor systems, and finally evolving to sophisticated care management and predictive analytics, HCIT helps make accountability an attainable goal.
What’s Required Under Accountable Care Reimbursement Models?
Organizations that take on additional risk for managing a population of patients should consider how the following technologies can support their patient care goals:
An enterprise revenue cycle management with inpatient and outpatient integration A high-functioning, up-to-date Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system with quality measurement and quality improvement capabilities that allow measurement at the physician level to support a continuous feedback loop Standards-based health information exchange to link disparate partners and exchange info broadly in the community, since patients won’t receive all their care within the accountable care organization Informatics solutions to capture and analyze vast amounts of data Patient engagement technologies such as portals that allow patients to contribute to their own clinical records, and engage in administrative functions like scheduling appointments and making payments
Using appropriate HCIT solutions, organizations can access and disseminate more effective care methods, coordinate care to improve patient satisfaction and loyalty, and achieve quality improvements and operational efficiencies that result in significant and sustainable cost savings.