Leading Wisely: Better Executive Decision Support

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 Dashboards vs. Scorecards: Use Both to Improve Outcomes

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.
Despite the different but equally important aspects of each tool, they best support outcomes improvement when used together.

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Outcomes Improvement Governance: A Handbook for Success and Achieving More with Less

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:

  1. Stakeholder engagement
  2. Shared understanding
  3. Alignment
  4. Focus
With these four principles, organizations can build a foundation of engagement and focus around the work, where they maximize strengths, and discover and address weaknesses. They establish an improvement methodology, define their goals, and sustain and standardize improvement work.

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In Pursuit of the Patient Stratification Gold Standard: Getting There with Healthcare Analytics

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).
Analytics is key to achieving the patient stratification gold standard, but should enhance (not replace) clinical judgement. Stratification lists need to go through workflows in which clinicians remove patients that aren’t appropriate for enrollment.

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The Best Care Management Teams Empower Patients like Abdel

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.

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Preparing for Changes to Medicare Reimbursement—The Latest CMS Proposed Measures

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.

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How Care Management Done Right Improves Patient Satisfaction and ROI

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.

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The Healthcare Outcomes Improvement Engine: The Best Way to Ensure Sustainable, Scalable Change

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:

  1. Engaging executives around outcomes improvement.
  2. Prioritizing opportunities most likely to succeed.
  3. Adequately staffing initiatives.
  4. Communicating success early and often.
Once up and running, multidisciplinary engagement and standardized improvement processes fuel the outcomes improvement engine in its mission to produce sustainable, scalable improvement.

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Is Value-Based Healthcare Here to Stay? Looking for Answers in New Policies

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:

  1. The 21st Century Cures Act (Cures).
  2. The Executive Order on reducing the “burden” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
  3. Tom Price’s comments at his confirmation hearings.
It is a relatively safe bet that value-based healthcare delivery and payment programs will continue to be supported by federal law and regulation for several reasons:
  • 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.

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How to Use Text Analytics in Healthcare to Improve Outcomes—Why You Need More than NLP

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:

  1. Optimize text search (display, medical terminologies, and context).
  2. Enhance context and extract values with an NLP pipeline.
  3. Always validate the algorithm.
  4. Focus on interoperability and integration using a Late-Binding approach.
This broad approach with position health systems for clinical and financial success.

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