By Naveen Sarabu, Director, Product Management and Strategy, Liaison Healthcare Informatics
On Sept. 6, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies released a report on how the best health care at the lowest cost might be implemented in the United States.
The IOM committee estimated that $750B was wasted in 2009 on unnecessary health spending and estimated that in 2005 alone 75,000 deaths could have averted. To avoid these, US healthcare needs some disruptive change and the committee offered its recommendations for creating an adaptive system.
Leading the report’s list of recommendations are several dealing with information infrastructure and utilization. These include improving health systems’ ability to collect clinical, care-delivery and financial data reliably and consistently. A major goal is to use interoperable systems to influence outcomes.
These goals are consistent with the transformation of hospitals into Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) that, rather than following the traditional model of providing services for fees, take responsibility for the overall health of an assigned population. A major part of establishing an ACO is setting up interoperability between the hospital, outside health care providers, laboratories, and other entities. The needs will vary depending upon the amount of interoperability desired and required. State clinicians and patients should have real-time access to medical records and therefore making the systems of hospitals, clinics, labs, etc. interoperable will go a long way to making this change successful.
If home building were like health care as currently practiced, the carpenters, electricians, and plumbers would all be working with different blueprints and little coordination according to the report and I agree. Interoperable systems would allow easier sharing of data, solving that problem. It would also allow healthcare providers to allow seamless, coordinated care in different settings.
Do you agree?