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An insider’s keys to value-based care success

The healthcare industry is experiencing an exciting but challenging time as it shifts to value-based care. In a recent webinar, I discussed that to excel with value-based care, we have to address three key areas:

1. Importance of data harmonization

Data comes from a variety of sources and not only do you need to get the right information to the right people it must be in a format one can easily use. Once you have the data, it’s important to leverage it to improve outcomes.

2. Benefits of presenting consolidated information at the point of care

One of the biggest complaints I hear about EHRs is that while they have a lot of information it can be difficult to access efficiently. Presenting consolidated information at the point of care reduces time wasted searching for critical information.

3. Workflow strategies to identify and close gaps in care

Value-based care requires coordination across the entire enterprise. That means increased teamwork and communication, especially between multiple care settings.

When organizations can successfully execute in these key areas, it is good for patients, clinicians and the organizations themselves.

Good for patients

Implementing coordinated care ensures needed information is accessible across multiple settings while avoiding duplication, gaps and delays. Providing platforms to simplify discharge planning, referral management and post-acute care helps patients as care transitions are a common source of error. Patients expect to be partners in their care and are expecting a “consumer-friendly” experience to perpetuate their satisfaction and loyalty. Engaging patients in new ways can also improve care coordination. Clinicians can use population health strategies to proactively prevent disease, slow disease progression and manage chronic conditions effectively.

Good for clinicians

Improving the clinician experience by reducing burdens is a top priority in healthcare. My best analogy for how easy health IT should make workflows for clinicians is by comparing the workflow to cellphone text notifications. Imagine getting a notification of a new text message and having to navigate through multiple steps before reaching the text and being able to respond. Doing so would create unnecessary work and delay the desired outcome. We must ensure everyone has the information they need within their workflow, and delivered in an actionable format. We should have system-level thinking with a focus on creating intuitive workflows.

Good for your organization

Doing what’s good for patients and clinicians creates organizational value. Improving the work environment improves satisfaction and happy employees are more likely to engage with patients. Organizations need new tools and information to help create efficient processes. Data harmonization helps achieve this.

For example, Rochester Regional Health took a team approach using dbMotion™ Solution to deliver an organized, consolidated and actionable community patient record – based on information from Allscripts and non-Allscripts EHRs – at the point of care.

With access to comprehensive patient information, the organization reduced the number of diabetic patients with uncontrolled A1c levels by 14%. A time-to-target initiative decreased the time to get patients’ blood sugar to target to an average of 56 days, compared to the national average of 1 to 1.5 years. The analytics platform became a “must have” for clinicians to manage their population per quality improvement projects.

The right approach to value-based care

Some have described moving to value-based care as having “one foot on the dock and one on the boat, trying not to get wet as the boat moves away.” Good progress with value-based care occurs when financial incentives align with good clinical care, as commonly exists with disease management programs such as diabetes, hypertension and heart failure.

Start by assessing your current performance to identify areas of improvement. Know your costs and target where you can have impact. Invest in education programs so everyone understands how to approach value-based care as a team. A robust analytics strategy will help measure, report and facilitate getting information to the right people. Effective communication with patients can be augmented through portals, telehealth and automated conversations that create contact with patients beyond the visit.

Over time, implementing value-based care should improve the patient experience, but no matter what decisions you make, they will likely be right if the patient remains at the center.

To join the conversation on value-based care, listen here.

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