Healthcare IT must evolve: HealthLeaders


As the healthcare industry continues to evolve for value-based care, information technology must follow suit, according to a report.

The report by HealthLeaders Media revealed that the percentage of organizations using analytics to assess population health needs is expected to jump 31 percent to include nearly 80 percent of all health systems over the next three years.

The report also includes data from a survey of the 8,000-member executive research panel, the HealthLeaders Media council.

According to HealthLeaders Media, the survey revealed that there is a big difference between the way that organizations apply analytics now and the way they will in the near future.

“Healthcare IT will move beyond siloed transactional systems for retrospective analysis toward more quantitative toolkits that use data to draw predictive and relational conclusions,” it said.

Participants also identified a number of data-related challenges which include itegrating clinical and business data, establishing/improving EHR interoperability, and improving data accuracy are among the top.

“The analytics work that we will do in the future will require deeper competencies and be at a different level of discovery than today’s work,” said George Hickman, executive vice president and chief information officer of Albany Medical Center.

Bill Bunting, director of healthcare solutions for EMC, added: “To care for populations with similar diseases requires us to be fluent in the best evidence-based medicine. We must understand the progress of patient groups with the same conditions, just as we must understand the prevalent health needs of our patient base.”

There are several key types of patient-related data that healthcare systems expect to draw on for analytics activity.

According to the report, in the top three are clinical data from EHR (95 percent), patient demographics (91 percent), and aggregated EHR and patient claims data (85 percent). But even as dependence on EHR data remains strong, Hickman suggests that the context will start to shift.

“At this point, electronic health records should start feeling like transaction systems, not necessarily at the center of the universe where we often put them,” he said. “If you really want to focus on population health, you have to have a healthy electronic health system environment supporting that effort. So let’s focus on all the other systems and solutions we’re going to need to be building for the future.”

HealthLeaders Media, IT and Data Security, US, Bill Bunting, EMC, Risk Management