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While previous years have seen extensive improvements in health information technology (HIT), analytic platforms and current healthcare solutions will offer better insight into a patient’s care, outcomes and cost, as guest blogger Holly Chavez explains.
There are now powerful predictive analytics for stratification of clinical and financial risk in population health management systems that can help healthcare practices by delivering a quantitative picture of potential health risks and cost drivers within a patient population.
With this added visibility, healthcare organizations and providers can evaluate a broad spectrum of patients. This enables them to focus on the entire population health demographic and drill down to individual patients, identifying patients in selected risk profiles and focus care management resources on those with the highest risk. This helps to elevate quality of care and also reduces the cost of care.
Data Analytics to Assess Risks and Improve Health Outcomes
Today’s medical professionals rely on support from various tools and data analytics. Regarding adoption of health IT, a 2013 study by Deloitte Development found that "Physicians working in accountable care organizations recognize improved care coordination and quicker access to clinical support (guidelines, lab reports, lab tests) as principal benefits." Medical professionals find the process helps to simplify management of time-consuming projects by allowing them to collect data from a wide range of resources.
Data analytics can also help medical practitioners to instantaneously evaluate high-risk patients and improve clinical decision-making by supplying evidence-based knowledge in respect to the patient's data. To increase efficiencies and provide worldwide access, the data can also be integrated throughout multiple departments. Data analytics can also aggregate data across multiple systems, allowing individual providers on disparate systems to function as one large provider group.
The Focus on Population Health Management
Population health management is a major focal point of the latest care and reimbursement models. However, to succeed, data analytics must continuously assess the population, identify risk factors, target individuals needing extensive care, and separate patients by risk.
To better manage costs, providers will need to determine high-risk patients. Instead of solely focusing on clinical data, organizations with an eye for profitability must reconcile both clinical and financial data. The methods can also optimize quality of care for high-risk patients and help to lessen related pharmacy and medical expenses.
The healthcare industry is experiencing transformation, and the new journey can affect healthcare delivery, now centered on a patient’s wellness and not costly methods of treatment. The effective use of advanced HIT in data capture can help providers to achieve success through population analysis and delivery of care at the appropriate time and place.
Population Health Management Solutions
Methods in the past often resulted in insufficient care, increased costs, and declining quality. However, streamlined analytics can benefit high-risk patients by identifying those in need of immediate care and allowing them to seek appropriate care management and support from primary care physicians and specialists, who encourage self-management and help them to stay out of the hospital for as long as possible. They can also ensure they receive the appropriate tests and screenings to manage their conditions.
According to a recent study published in Health Affairs, the use of population health management systems with advanced data analytics and other HIT tools could potentially save $81–$162 billion or greater every year while greatly decreasing mortality and morbidity. Organizations with integrated electronic medical records (EMRs) and other HIT systems can leverage data to identify and address care gaps. Patient outreach can encourage patients to be involved in their own care.
With an in-depth comprehension of the population’s risks and needs, organizations can better assess and manage patients at the highest risk.
Guest blogger Holly Chavez has 12 years of experience in fields relating to electronics manufacturing, medical, and logistics industries. During her years as an engineer, she frequently worked with customers in the medical industry and appreciates the many ways that population health management systems offer better insight to healthcare providers regarding patient care and outcomes.
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