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Author Bio

Ed Corbett, MD

Edward Corbett, MD joined Health Catalyst in June 2014 as a medical officer. He earned his medical degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio where he also completed his residency in Internal Medicine. He is board certified in Internal Medicine. He started his career as a physician at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas specializing in preventive medicine. Prior to joining Health Catalyst he was a physician partner at Central Utah Clinic, a large multispecialty clinic which was the first Medicare ACO in the state of Utah. He has a special interest in improving patient care through the better use of technology and has been actively involved in clinical IT throughout his career.

Read articles by Ed Corbett, MD


Holly Rimmasch
Ed Corbett, MD
Anne Marie Bickmore

A Sustainable Healthcare Emergency Management Framework: COVID-19 and Beyond

With an ever-changing understanding of COVID-19 and a continually fluctuating disease impact, health systems can’t rely on a single, rigid plan to guide their response and recovery efforts. An effective solution is likely a flexible framework that steers hospitals and other providers through four critical phases of a communitywide healthcare emergency:

Prepare for an outbreak.
Prevent transmission.
Recover from an outbreak.
Plan for the future.

The framework must include data-supported surveillance and containment strategies to enhance detection, reduce transmission, and manage capacity and supplies, providing a roadmap to respond to immediate demands and also support a sustainable long-term pandemic response.

Holly Rimmasch
Ed Corbett, MD

Healthcare Trends During COVID-19: Top Five Areas to Watch

COVID-19 is now a commanding force in healthcare, and outbreak-driven trends will continue to influence the industry and impact patients for the foreseeable future. Understanding and preparing for activity in five critical categories will help health systems navigate the next phases of the COVID-19 era:

A potential vaccine—confronting availability and distribution challenges.
Virtual care—managing the best interests of patients and providers.
Models of care—accommodating changing delivery and long-term needs of COVID-19 patients.
Healthcare resource management—planning for and recovering from financial and capacity strain.
Data—improving accuracy, availability, and timeliness for pandemic management.

Ed Corbett, MD

How to Scale Telehealth Solutions to Increase Patient Access During COVID-19

As health systems have faced a drop in routine, non-emergent patient care due to the novel coronavirus, they have had to be flexible and find new methods of care delivery to ensure patient access. Telehealth—using a digital platform to conduct are remotely—benefits both patients and health systems. Although laying the groundwork for telehealth and then scaling telehealth solutions is challenging, virtual care leads to increased patient access, better patient retention, and overall reduced costs for health systems, employers, and patients. With the right tools to build a reliable framework, organizations can effectively deliver quality care to patient populations, no matter where they live.

Ed Corbett, MD

Physician Burnout and the EHR: Addressing Five Common Burdens

So far, the EHR hasn’t delivered on its original intent to improve patient care with more efficiency and personalization and lower cost. Instead, physician users blame the systems for worsening their experience and the quality of their care in significant ways:

Less time for patient interaction and worsened quality of interaction.
An extended workday.
Poor design (difficult to use).
Demands of quality measures.
Cost and maintenance.

Despite these challenges, the EHR is likely here to stay. Health systems have invested heavily in their electronic reporting systems and are now focused on making these technologies and processes work for the benefit of patients and providers. CIOs are working towards better aligning digital health goals with physician experience for an environment where EHRs enable smarter, not harder, work.

Ed Corbett, MD

Quality Data Is Essential for Doctors Concerned with Patient Engagement

It might be a bit of a leap to associate quality data with improving the patient experience. But the pathway is apparent when you consider that physicians need data to track patient diagnoses, treatments, progress, and outcomes. The data must be high quality (easily accessible, standardized, comprehensive) so it simplifies, rather than complicates, the physician’s job. This becomes even more important in the pursuit of population health, as care teams need to easily identify at-risk patients in need of preventive or follow-up care. Patients engaged in their own care via portals and personal peripherals contribute to the volume and quality of data and feel empowered in the process. This physician and patient engagement leads to improved care and outcomes, and, ultimately, an improved patient experience.

Ed Corbett, MD

The Real-World Benefits of Machine Learning in Healthcare

Machine learning in healthcare is already proving its worth in clinical applications. From identifying tumors in mammograms, to diagnosing skin cancer and diabetic retinopathy from images, algorithms can perform certain duties more quickly and reliably than humans. While only used for specialized medicine now, the time will come where every practitioner and patient will benefit from cyber-assisted bedside care. This won’t develop without ethical implications, but the advantages that machine learning will bring to healthcare in terms of lower costs, improved quality of care, and greater provider and patient satisfaction, will easily outweigh those concerns.
In this article, Dr. Ed Corbett explores the intricacies of machine learning from two perspectives: as a physician and as a family caregiver with a personal story about how this data science could benefit patient lives today.

Ed Corbett, MD

Standardized Care vs. Personalization: Can They Coexist?

Perceptions of standardization and personalization vary widely by healthcare industry role. Advocates of standardized care say it improves efficiency, outcomes, and patient safety. Advocates of personalization, however, don’t want to see a one-size-fits-all approach become the norm. They want to see a healthcare system in which physicians treat patients like unique individuals.
But what if standardization and personalization didn’t have to be mutually exclusive? What if these historically competitive approaches to care improvement could work together to improve care?
Dr. Corbett describes how health systems can prioritize standardization and personalization using data to bridge the gap. Data enables informed decision making, customized treatment plans, and patient engagement. It supports both standardization and personalization approaches in the ultimate quest for care delivery improvement.

Ed Corbett, MD

The Best Way to Optimize Physician Workflow

Optimize physician workflow and you’ll contribute to optimizing patient care. But what is it physicians look for to improve diagnoses, decision-making, patient care, and ultimately, outcomes? To answer this, consider what constitutes ideal working conditions in any industry: the right tools, training, and information to maximize productivity and deliver results. Physicians need analytics integrated into the EHR to maximize their efficiency, a common quest among the chronically overworked. And by flowing the universe of global, local, and individual data back into an enterprise data warehouse, a healthcare system can close the analytics loop, and begin to realize true precision medicine.

Ed Corbett, MD

Physician Reporting: The Secret to Useable, Engaging Reports

While working as an internist at an outpatient clinic, I would see physician performance reports that would tell me little more than if I was doing “good” or “bad.” There was no way to know how I compared to others. My colleagues, who also received these reports, and I didn’t trust the numbers either. In short, the reports were useless. Then, I discovered creating reports with a data warehouse. This addresses issues in six ways: 1. There is a cleaner data set and physicians don’t need to worry about fixing the data. 2. It addresses the “but my patients are different” argument. 3. The information is up-to-date. 4. The data is granular and detailed. 5. Physicians take ownership of the data because they are involved in the process. 6. Finally, it saves valuable time. When reports are created this way, physicians can make real change in their behavior and improve patient outcomes.

Ed Corbett, MD

The Clinical Integration Hierarchy: A Primer on the Backbone of Data-driven Quality and Cost Improvement

Healthcare delivery is typically siloed into departments and care settings. But accountable care and value-based payment models require organizations to coordinate care across the continuum. To accomplish this, the Clinical Integration Hierarchy groups healthcare into work process that reflect how care is actually delivered. At the most granular level are care processes such as AMI and Cardiac Rehab (some of which are further divided into sub-care processes such as when AMI is divided into PCI and CABG). Next, care process families form the link between care processes through common pathologic conditions. Finally, the care process families comprise clinical programs such as Cardiovascular and Behavioral Health. The Clinical Integration Hierarchy forms the foundation for systematically tackling quality and cost improvement.