Transforming a practice to provide value-based care for patients who have been getting no more than the service they pay for creates a few changes. Healthcare providers have to embrace new reimbursement methods, patient care strategies as well as documentation and coordination of care.
Technology plays a key role in the transformation to better healthcare. From creating and sharing electronic health records to empowering and engaging patients in their care, technology is doing a lot to enable better health outcomes. On the flip side, physicians have become prone to fatigue and dissatisfaction due to the administrative burden caused by increased reliance on technology.
How do you endure that technology complements efforts towards better health care provision without detrimental outcomes on physicians? Keeping the Quadruple Aim in mind, that is reducing the cost of health care while improving outcomes, increasing patient and care team satisfaction, you must make three important considerations.
Technology should accommodate physician work flow
Having to change their clinical judgement and work flow to incorporate technology is bound to inconvenience physicians and their care teams. Seeing as they are the main drivers of transformation to value-based care, their comfort should be a priority for any practice. Therefore, technology should compliment their efforts. We should make it a priority to understand the providers’ needs. Existing technology should be manipulated to fulfill these needs and result into better health care outcomes.
Technology should deliver meaningful data in order to achieve desired outcomes
Simply presenting all available data to the members of a care team increases their administrative burden as they have to take time to make sense of all the data and transform it into actionable information. Technology should simplify this process but filtering the data to present the team with the most important details.
Due to privacy rules, technology cannot be coordinated to filter data from multiple sources. Providers are given piecemeal data from different sources. This data is not integrated and is often inaccurate. The result is a complicated process that does little to enable value-based care. Technology should be used to simplify patient identification from different sources and simplify the process of accessing better health care.
Technology should amplify the physician-patient relationship
Electronic health records (EHRs) have empowered providers and patients. This technology, although basic, has made it easier for providers to access patient records and streamlined communication on patient matters within the care team. This can be amplified by having smart patient engagement technology that can bolt on to EHR delivering better user experiences and advanced access to personalized information to patients and caregivers.
Patient engagement platform provides:
- Unilateral access to care plans by the patients and their care teams;
- actionable data incorporated into the team’s workflow;
- enhanced user experience for the care team;
- improved reporting of actionable data;
- interoperability of different systems involved in the coordination of care as well as health management and
- support for patient self-management among patients by making information easily accessible.
Illustration: How providers can be empowered to encourage active patient participation
The goal of a leadership team taking part in a value-based care model was to improve the health outcomes of patients with chronic diseases while reducing the treatment costs. Their first step was to identify high-risk patients. Next, they sought a way through which care teams could assist patients to change their behaviors and become involved in their care.
The solution, made possible by in-depth data analysis, was an integrated care team that works together with patients to identify and change patient behaviors hindering self-care for chronic disease.
The integrated care team used verbal interaction as well as improved workflows that allowed them to work together with the patient to create new care plans. Patients interacted with providers, clinical coordinators, and digital tools to come up with these plans. The records of progress were on a dashboard that was accessible by the care team.
The results of this initiative were reduced visits to the emergency room, enhanced control of the disease, higher levels of patient engagement and higher levels of provider satisfaction. Therefore, the initiative achieved the Quadruple Aim.
Value-based care is the future of health care. Organizations that have transformed their models are witnessing better health outcomes, reduced costs and improved patient and provider experience. In order to get the most out of this transformation, you must engage your physicians to understand their needs and identify opportunities for technology to enhance your practice.