The next step in the evolution of executive decision support is here—introducing Leading Wisely. With real-time alerts and customizable reports, healthcare leaders now have access to the actionable insights and meaningful information they need to make strategic decisions. Unlike traditional dashboards or static reports, Leading Wisely helps executives avoid being blindsided, giving them complete control over their data.
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Healthcare IT leaders tend to debate over which tool is best for measuring and sustaining outcomes improvement goals: healthcare dashboards or scorecards. But using both tools is the most effective approach. “Scoreboards” take advantage of the high-level, strategic capacity of scorecards and the real-time, operational functionality of dashboards. But using both effectively requires a thorough understanding of the who, what, when, and how of each tool.
- Who: Scorecards are for leaders; dashboards are for the frontline.
- What: Scorecards are strategic; dashboards are operational.
- When: Scorecards are daily, weekly, or monthly reports; dashboards are real-time or near real-time.
- How: Scorecards enforce accountability and provide actionable data; dashboards provide drill-down capability and inform root cause.
For healthcare organizations looking to achieve outcomes improvement goals, effective governance is the most essential must-have. This leadership culture ensures success by enabling health systems to invest in outcomes improvement and allocate resources appropriately toward these goals. This executive report is an outcomes improvement governance handbook centered on four guiding principles (and associated helpful steps) health systems can follow to achieve effective governance and start achieving more with less:
- Stakeholder engagement
- Shared understanding
Even the healthiest among us would benefit from some level of care management, but resources are limited and patients must be stratified to facilitate prioritized enrollment into care management programs. Therefore, health systems need to identify not only high-cost, high-risk, and rising-risk patients, but also patients who are truly impactable. This article explains how systems can use healthcare analytics, at varying levels of maturity, to improve patient stratification and, ultimately, achieve the gold standard:
- Level 1 (where to start): use healthcare analytics to identify high-cost, high-risk patients in a population.
- Level 2: use healthcare analytics to identify patients with rising-risk profiles.
- Level 3 (highest level of maturity): use healthcare analytics to identify patients who are truly impactable (the patient stratification gold standard).
What do the best care management teams in the industry have in common? They engage and empower their patients to play a leadership role in their healthcare. After all, patients without the skills to manage their care incur costs up to 21 percent higher than engaged patients. Engaging and empowering patients as the most important members of the care management team makes sense on many fronts—as health systems assume more responsibility and financial risks for patients’ outcomes and costs, there will certainly be more interest in expanding the role of patients in their care. This blog explains why engaging patients like 68-year-old Abdel not only instills a gratifying sense of empowerment, but also improves outcomes and controls costs—the many benefits of an effective care management team.
Health systems that aren’t prepared for changes to Medicare reimbursement under a value-based system risk quality penalties and reduced reimbursement. They can protect themselves by following the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service’s (CMS) annual Measures Under Consideration List—and not waiting till it’s too late to address gaps in their system. The measures accepted from the list of proposals will help determine the areas of care delivery that Medicare will hold organizations accountable for. It’s never too early for health systems to prepare. CMS selects measures that are already nationally recognized as priority areas for improvement, giving organizations proactive direction in their improvement strategy.
A comprehensive care management program organizes many moving parts into an efficient workflow and brings order to the complex, often messy, world of healthcare. Care coordination harmonizes the workflow of clinicians, patients, family, social workers, and therapists, to name a few. It facilitates medication reconciliation, care compliance, appointment scheduling, and communication with patients, as well as engagement between patients and the care team. Care coordination concentrates on the highest-utilization, highest-cost patients to produce better clinical, operational, and financial outcomes, the bottom line goals for healthcare systems involved in population health and value-based care. This article details the benefits of, and barriers to, care management and coordination, their role in population health, and the technology that’s helping to automate this area of healthcare.
How do healthcare organizations create a systemwide focus on outcomes improvement? They build a healthcare outcomes improvement engine—a mechanism designed to drive successful and sustainable change. Creating this outcomes improvement engine requires four critical components:
- Engaging executives around outcomes improvement.
- Prioritizing opportunities most likely to succeed.
- Adequately staffing initiatives.
- Communicating success early and often.
Healthcare leaders are eager for a modicum of clarity when it comes to the industry’s shift to value-based healthcare given the uncertainties of Congress and the new Administration. Fortunately, an analysis of three key pieces of information tells us value-based healthcare is likely here to stay:
- The 21st Century Cures Act (Cures).
- The Executive Order on reducing the “burden” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
- Tom Price’s comments at his confirmation hearings.
- Bipartisan support: The success of Cures indicates that bipartisan cooperation will continue on key healthcare issues.
- Market-based innovation: The emerging evidence is that Congress and the Administration will support innovation in payment and delivery models.
- Support for Existing ACA Innovation programs: Although highly uncertain, there are some indications that not all of the ACA will be scrapped.
Given the fact that up to 80 percent of clinical data is stored in unstructured text, healthcare organizations need to harness the power of text analytics. But, surprisingly, less than five percent of health systems use it due to resource limitations and the complexity of text analytics. But given the industry’s necessity to use text analytics to create precise patient registries, enhance their understanding of high-risk patient populations, and improve outcomes, this executive report explains why systems must start using it—and explains how to get started. Health systems can start using text analytics to improve outcomes by focusing on four key components:
- Optimize text search (display, medical terminologies, and context).
- Enhance context and extract values with an NLP pipeline.
- Always validate the algorithm.
- Focus on interoperability and integration using a Late-Binding approach.