To succeed in today’s rapidly evolving business environment, healthcare organizations must have accurate financial data. Approximately 50 percent of CMS payments are now tied to a value component; hospital operating margins are at an all-time low; and consumer demands are rising with their costs. In order to meet these new challenges, health systems must shift their strategy or risk being left behind. This article details the operational, organizational, and financial strategies that drive financial transformation, as well as examples of how to obtain and utilize financial data, find waste reduction opportunities, and much more.
Health Catalyst Products and Services
Healthcare organizations face provider dissatisfaction, lack of data integration, and excessive clicks to perform basic functions within the EHR. Closed-Loop Analytics™ aggregates data, circulates that data into new or existing workflows, and then surfaces best practice alerts at the decision point for physicians, clinical providers, and financial and operational teams. With clear calls to action throughout the workflow, organizations improve the utilization and effectiveness of analytics tools, yielding simplified workflows, decreased clicks, and improved outcomes.
Why would a healthcare data warehousing and analytics company partner with the life sciences industry? Because trust and collaboration across the industry—between life sciences, healthcare delivery systems, and insurance—is the only path to real healthcare transformation.
Health Catalyst recognizes an industrywide improvement opportunity in collaborating with life sciences to build mutual trust, integrate data, and leverage analytics insights for a common interest (i.e., patient outcomes). By aligning themselves around human health fulfillment, Health Catalyst, their provider partners, and life sciences will advance important healthcare goals:
Improving clinical trial design and execution.
Stimulating clinical innovation.
Supporting population health.
Reducing pharmaceutical costs.
Improving drug safety and pharmacovigilance.
Agnostic Analytics Solutions vs. EHRs: Six Reasons EHRs Can’t Deliver True Healthcare Interoperability
As enterprisewide analytics demands grow across healthcare, health systems that rely on EHRs from major vendors are hitting limitations in their analytics capabilities. EHR vendors have responded with custom and point-solution tools, but these tend to generate more complications (e.g., multiple data stores and disjointed solutions) than analytics interoperability.
To get value out of existing EHRs while also evolving towards more mature analytics, health systems must partner with an analytics vendor that provides an enterprise data management and analytics platform as well as deep improvement implementation experience. Vendor tools and expertise will help organizations leverage their EHRs to meet population health management and value-based payment goals, as well as pursue some of today’s top healthcare strategic goals:
The life science industry has historically relied on sanitized clinical trials and commoditized data sources (largely claims) to inform its drug development process—an under-substantiated approach that didn’t reflect how a new drug would affect broader patient populations. In an effort to gain more accurate insight into the patient experience and bring drugs to market more efficiently and safely, the industry is now expanding into extended real-world data (RWD).
To access the needed breadth and depth of patient-centric data, life science companies must partner with a healthcare transformation company that has three key qualities:
A broad and deep data asset.
Extensive provider partnerships.
An outcomes-improvement engine to support the next generation of drug development.
A lack of effective technology is impeding the progress of patient safety, according to a 2018 survey of healthcare professionals. Even though most healthcare organizations claim safety as a priority, serious challenges remain to making a significant impact on patient safety outcomes.
Survey respondents said ineffective information technology and the related lack of real-time warnings for possible harm events were the top barriers to improving patient safety. They cited a number of key obstacles:
Lack of resources.
Lack of reimbursement for safety measures.
Changes in patient population.
This survey of more than 400 healthcare professionals tackles a big question many hospital leaders are asking: Why aren’t we seeing improvements in patient safety despite our efforts?
Five Reasons Why Health Catalyst Acquired Medicity and What It Means for Interoperability, as Explained by Dale Sanders, President of Technology
Why did Health Catalyst acquire Medicity? Dale Sanders, President of Technology, shares five reasons and what it means for interoperability:
Medicity has several petabytes of valuable data content.
Medicity’s data governance expertise.
Medicity’s 7 x 24 real-time cloud operations expertise.
Medicity’s expertise in real-time EHR integration.
Medicity’s presence and expertise in the loosely affiliated, community ambulatory care management space.
Healthcare mergers and acquisitions can involve a lot of EMRs and other IT systems. Sometimes leaders feel like they have to rip and replace these systems to fully integrate organizations. However, this is not the answer, according to Dale Sanders. This report, based upon his July 2017 webinar, outlines the importance of a data-first strategy and introduces the Health Catalyst® Data Operating System (DOS™) platform. DOS can play a critical role in facilitating IT strategy for the growing healthcare M&A landscape.
The FDA recently released guidance documents on the use of clinical decision support (CDS) and medical software that may be of concern to forward-thinking healthcare innovators who rely on these technologies to deliver exceptional care and improve outcomes. What will be the impact of this guidance on machine learning and predictive analytics efforts? How will the guidance affect timelines, costs, and effectiveness of ongoing machine learning implementation?
As healthcare delivery increasingly relies on digital innovation and support, more questions emerge about the governance of the accompanying tools and technology.
This article provides a summary of the FDA guidance on CDS, how CDS is defined, whether or not CDS is exempt from regulation, and how the FDA intends to enforce compliance. It also summarizes the FDA guidance on medical software, what software is exempt from regulation, and helps to answer some of the questions surrounding the digital health space.
Health Catalyst Data Operating System (DOS) is a revolutionary architecture that addresses the digital and data problems confronting healthcare now and in the future. It is an analytics galaxy that encompasses data platforms, machine learning, analytics applications, and the fabric to stitch all these components together.
DOS addresses these seven critical areas of healthcare IT:
Healthcare data management and acquisition
Integrating data in mergers and acquisitions
Enabling a personal health record
Scaling existing, homegrown data warehouses
Ingesting the human health data ecosystem
Providers becoming payers
Extending the life and current value of EHR investments
This white paper illustrates these healthcare system needs detail and explains the attributes of DOS. Read how DOS is the right technology for tackling healthcare’s big issues, including big data, physician burnout, rising healthcare expenses, and the productivity backfire created by other healthcare technologies.
Learn from the Best in Healthcare Data Visualization at Health Catalyst University™ During HAS™ 2017
Too often, the hard work of collecting and transforming data into meaningful insights is betrayed by a critical step in the journey: the visualization. Data visualizations should always make data easily consumable and digestible and accelerate outcomes improvement. This is where the Health Catalyst University Visualization Track comes into play. It’s one of four tracks available leading up to the 2017 Healthcare Analytics Summit.
Class attendees will learn how to:
Describe why visualization is important
Recognize commonly accepted presentation rules
Identify weakness in existing visualizations
Execute the critical steps for effective chart creation
This article provides a sneak peek into details of this workshop and the team who will be leading it.
Healthcare information systems are integral to hospital operations and clinical care for patients. In the 1960s healthcare was driven by Medicare and Medicaid and HIT developed shared hospital accounting systems. In the 1970s communication between departments and individual transactional systems became important. DRGs drove healthcare in the 1980s and HIT needed to find ways to pull both clinical and financial data in order for reimbursements. The 1990s saw competition and consolidation drive technology to create IDN-like integration. In the 2000s outcomes-based reimbursement became the drive behind developing real-time clinical decision support. For the future, ACOs and value-based purchasing means that CIOs will need to implement data warehouses and analytics application to provide the insights to drive performance improvement necessary for hospital survival.
According to statistician W. Edwards Deming, “Uncontrolled variation is the enemy of quality.” The statement is particularly true of outcomes improvement in healthcare, where variation threatens quality across processes and outcomes. To improve outcomes, health systems must recognize where and how inconsistency impacts their outcomes and reduce unwanted variation.
There are three key steps to reducing unwanted variation:
Remove obstacles to success on a communitywide level.
Maintain open lines of communication and share lessons learned.
Decrease the magnitude of variation.
Establishing a healthcare improvement initiative is just the first step toward transformation. The real work of improvement lies in sustaining it, which is why qualified change agent are essential to meaningful progress.
Change agents are trained to lead organizations in:
Case for change
Change management concepts
Cost Benefit Analysis
Health Catalyst’s Accelerated Practices Program gives change agents adaptive leadership training to guide systemwide change within their organizations. They are prepared to meet technical adaptive challenges while keeping teams engaged and productive, and, importantly, to use data analysis to improve quality, cost, and patient satisfaction outcomes.
U.S. healthcare is one of the most technologically advanced industries in the world, yet it has such a difficult time transforming some of its most mundane problems (cost, quality, and service). With these problems, we are not so different from many other industries, so we should be able to learn from the individuals and industries that have succeeded in finding answers. At the same time, we need to recognize that healthcare is incredibly complex, so we need to search within for barriers that prevent disruption and innovation. The future of healthcare lies in technology, but more importantly, in our ability to pave the way for its implementation starting right now.
Healthcare organizations need to make lasting, systemwide improvements to make the transition to value-based care models. Starting this work is tough, but a new tool from Health Catalyst will show the way. This 25-question assessment based on an integrate literature review of outcomes improvement research, will show how organizations are performing in five main categories:
Adaptive leadership and culture
With this information, organizations can start on the path to sustainable outcomes improvement.
Transforming healthcare takes more than just dashboards and data. It takes an entirely new approach combining best practices, analytics, and adoption of the improvement program throughout the entire organization. Which is why Health Catalyst Clinical Improvement Applications offer tools to help organizations with all three of those systems. The applications contain starter content (best practices), which includes a knowledge brief, a care process improvement map, and an outcomes improvement packet. Of course, analytics is also part of the applications in the form of precise patient registries, outcomes and process metrics, and visualizations. And finally, Health Catalyst includes deployment services to drive adoption of improvement work. This includes engagement with health system teams and sharing of insights based on work from a variety of healthcare organizations across the country and the world. Armed with a Clinical Improvement Application, a health system is in a better position to make real, meaning changes resulting in outcomes improvement for patients and itself.
Insurance premiums increase for employers and productivity decreases for employees when the workforce is unhealthy. Absenteeism increases, morale decreases, but research proves that a healthy workforce positively impacts each of these measures. An employee wellness program is a proven method for improving employee health, but the challenge is in elevating wellness program participation. Well, there’s an app for that. It’s called Get Fit Stay Fit and it was developed by Health Catalyst to motivate their employees toward healthier lifestyles. It’s actually much more than an app and the results have been so impressive, we are looking for other organizations to step up to the challenge.
Introducing the Accelerated Practices (AP) Program: An Innovative Way to Help Health Systems Accelerate and Sustain Outcomes Improvement
We are excited to announce the launch of Health Catalyst University’s Accelerated Practices (AP) Program. This program is a highly immersive, project-based learning experience that healthcare industry experts have spent a lot of time developing. The goal of the program is for participants to leave with the tools and knowledge they need to achieve significant improvements in a short amount of time for their organizations. They will also learn how to communicate the need for change in this new value-based care environment by using data and proven leadership principles.
The availability of healthcare IT solutions can be overwhelming and all promise to solve an organization’s most pressing issues. While typical data and analytic applications are excellent at exposing opportunities for improvement that are impacting the bottom line, most are not effective at helping the organization determine what to do to address them and improve outcomes. However, a new approach to creating analytics applications is emerging. Analytics applications that incorporate best practices clinical content along with the best practices visualizations help everyone understand the problem and the solution. These applications also enable clinicians to better understand, adopt, roll out, and execute outcome improvement initiatives with healthcare systems. Health Catalyst has deliberately created a comprehensive, dynamic suite of applications that integrate clinical content and facilitate the orderly implementation of action plans.
There’s a new trend in the healthcare industry to adopt analytics software solutions to help organizations achieve clinical and financial success. Because of the high demand for analytics, there are many players touting their ability to delivery comprehensive solutions. With so many options available, health systems need to be able to cut through the marketing hype to find tools that provide the best value for their needs. Key solutions include an enterprise data warehouse and analytics software applications (from foundational to discovery to advanced). Other considerations include the organization’s readiness for cultural change, the total cost of ownership required, and the viability of the company providing the technology.
When an analyst from another health system asked our resident analytics expert about the practical value of the Analytics Adoption Model, our expert had a lot to say. Specifically, he elaborated on the results the organization would realize, especially if they used the Adoption Model as a roadmap on their journey to become data driven. But first, they would need to adopt a late-binding data warehouse and analytics applications. With both solutions, they would be able to confidently deliver evidence-based care.
Healthcare organizations are looking to analytics applications that will help them identify and prioritize the best areas for improvement projects. Even once they choose an analytics solution, though, it’s difficult to know where to start because of all of the data health systems have stored. Two solutions will help eliminate the guesswork: a healthcare enterprise data warehouse and sophisticated analytics applications, such as the Key Process Analysis (KPA) Application. The KPA application uses the Pareto principle to find areas with highest variation and highest resource consumption. This valuable information gives health systems a starting point as they begin their journey to improve the delivery of care and reduce costs.
We have found that many customers have similar questions about how the implementation process works when rolling out a Health Catalyst Late-Binding ™ data warehouse platform and analytics solutions. So, we thought it would be useful to produce a document that we hope will answer the majority of these and other common questions. The keys for a successful Health Catalyst implementation are outlined step-by-step format.
Pre-step (most important): Identify key personnel resources needed on the health system side, 1) Implementation Planning, 2) Deploy Hardware, 3) Technical Kickoff Meeting with the Client and Health Catalyst Deployment Teams, 4) Access Source Data, 5) Install Platform, 6) Load Data, 7) Install Foundational Applications, 8) Install Discovery Applications, and 9) Install Advanced Applications
At the beginning of the project, Health Catalyst will begin a collaborative implementation planning process resulting in a timeline tailored to each project. Some projects can be accelerated, with the initial phase completed in 90 days. Your health system will have questions specific to your organization and your circumstances. We are happy to answer those in person.
Defining patient populations is an important first step when identifying opportunities for clinical improvement, but it can be a daunting one. How can a clinician easily find a specific patient population? Then, once found, how does that list turn into actionable steps that improve outcomes? In this Insight, Kathy describes how Health Catalyst helps clients define patient populations by using the Cohort Builder application and then using risk stratification, an exciting methodology that assists in identifying outcomes for specific patient populations.