Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2018 impressively pulled over 43,000 attendees to the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on the first day of their annual conference. Adding to the continued agenda of improving interoperability and the evolution of patient-centric care, AI and machine learning too dominated discussion and session topics.
The conference commenced on March 5, with an opening keynote by Eric Schmidt, best known as the former executive chairman of Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company. Schmidt outlined his vision of a future where a physician would engage in a patient visit, assisted by an unobtrusive technology that could listen to their conversation and provide clinical decision support advice. Such technology wouldn’t just relieve physicians of all the hours of documentation but also provide them the data they need to propel population health management. The best part- all the building blocks of this technology is buildable today, but it takes collaboration to figure how to build and implement it.
The key, however, was innovation. Schmidt urged the industry to not repeat the existing infrastructure, but to focus on innovation. One of the problems that many organizations face while innovating is they don’t recognize that the first step is to identify the problem. Reinstating Schmidt’s point was Aneesh Chopra, former U.S. chief technology officer at the HIMSS Innovation Symposium- “Sometimes you have to create the capacity for innovation.” Healthcare has mounds of data, generated within the organization as well as public sources- making healthcare data sharing a significant avenue for innovation.
10 years ago, fewer than one in 10 American hospitals had electronic health records. And today, fewer than one in 10 do not. Unanimously agreed at the CHIME CIO Forum, electronic health records and all the surrounding digital tools have become the information backbone of healthcare. Although what remains to be figured out is how data and technology will really work for patients, doctors, and organizations in real time.
As discussed at the HIMSS Patient Engagement and Experience Summit, healthcare has gotten better at expanding access to care and making it easier for patients and providers to collaborate. But it has to go beyond just access- it has to become more about access to transparent facts and costs. It’s about putting information in the hands of patients that matters most to them and advance the clinical and financial outcomes.
Derek Novak, VP and COO at Mercy Accountable Care Organization too, recounted the story of how a data-driven strategy to enhance patient engagement worked in their favor. The Iowa-based ACO brought together its healthcare data from over 65 practices and 20+ value-based contracts on a single, unified healthcare data platform, InData. Leveraging different facets of healthcare data such as the CCDA files and ADT feeds, Mercy ACO identified patients that needed immediate attention with post-acute care. The healthcare organization invested in the idea of bringing together data management and care management on a single platform, and creating transparency in their network. Also, by linking their clinical data to social and community resources, the ACO ensured holistic, real-time care for their patients and provided them with a better experience.
“We have a fairly sizable amount of risk as an organization as we’re transitioning more and more of our contracts to a downside scenario and ultimately… this allows us to better manage our clinical delivery system for our patients so, there’s a standardized approach when a patient interacts with one of our health coaches,” said Derek. “We have over 400 million different data points around patients in our system and across the state and we can perform predictive analytics and identify the rising risk populations or the patients that are going to be admitted, maybe, in a particular period of time.”
Looking forward, the second day of HIMSS 2018 will shed light on information and technology advances by CMS administrator Seema Verma as she talks about the need for patient ownership of healthcare data and also how it’s all connected to interoperability among EHRs in healthcare. Continuing the trail of how data-driven strategies can help healthcare organizations, Deepak Murthy, President and Chief Business Officer at Innovaccer will engage Mark Anderson, CEO, AC Group and COO East Texas IPA in a fireside chat. Taking place at Solutions Lab, Sands Convention Center Level 1, Cassanova Meeting Room from 10:00 AM PT, the two will talk about how intelligent, insights-driven strategies can assist healthcare organizations in improving their operational efficiency.
Day 2 of HIMSS will bring equally insightful and engaging sessions, along with a survey being conducted by Innovaccer at its booth #649. The survey is open to all the members of the healthcare community, taking their opinions on the state of present-day healthcare and assess what opportunities lie ahead. But in a nutshell, the role of technology seems to become increasingly central as we proceed towards an efficient, quality-driven healthcare.
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