By Gary Palgon, VP Healthcare Solutions, Liaison Healthcare Informatics
Greetings from Beantown and Medical Informatics World 2013!
John Halamka, M.D., MS, CIO, with Beth Deaconess Medical Center kicked off the keynote session by providing a “Top 5 List” for CIOs, which includes:
- Healthcare Information Exchange
- Clinical Decision Support
- Patient and Family Engagement and Analytics
- Business Intelligence and Quality Measures
That is quite a large “To-Do” list with already one quarter behind us!
While overwhelming, the truth is all five are required to comply with regulatory requirements and to accelerate the move to the new, outcome-based payment models. There isn’t a silver bullet that can accomplish all of these, while most will require multiple vendors to implement.
Lonny Reisman, M.D., Senior Vice President and CMO of Aetna took the stage next to present the payer’s perspective.
Reisman provided insights into how Aetna is working on predictive analytics to determine patterns of expected medical issues based on a patient’s current symptoms. To make these predictions, they collect and analyse massive amounts of patient symptom data. And while the data exists, the ability to aggregate and interpret it has proven tougher than they expected. This analysis provides a means for cutting costs, but with new research breakthroughs, should we only be analyzing big data just for the sake of trimming expenses?
A question posed by Graham Hughes, M.D., CMO, SAS was:“Is Healthcare Reform really just another Payment Reform? In other words, are we really trying to improve patient care at a reduced cost, or are we just trying to lower healthcare costs altogether?
Personally, I think they go hand-in-hand. In order to reduce costs the opportunity for drastically changing healthcare becomes the driving force of Healthcare Reform. Both will be painful throughout the healthcare ecosystem, so we might as well try to tackle both at the same time. We should strive to make it worthwhile enough to overhaul and improve healthcare systems, so that we do not end up with just a new payment model.
Change is not easy for anyone, but we need to work together to ensure that we all can capitalize on the benefits that come from these changes. What are your top healthcare initiatives? Are they just cost-cutting efforts, or are you helping to improve patient outcomes as well?
Until next time,