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Five Steps for Better Patient Access to Healthcare

While patient access challenges have been ongoing in healthcare, COVID-19 further stressed access infrastructure. Stay-at-home orders, temporary halts on in-person primary visits, transportation challenges, and more resulted in deferred or missed care. Meanwhile, pandemic-era workarounds, such as a shift to virtual care, have pushed a more digitized patient experience. As healthcare consumers and providers increasingly relying on touchless and asynchronous processes, health systems are discovering opportunities to improve patient access and the overall experience. With the following five steps in a patient access improvement framework, organizations can scale and sustain innovations and lessons learned during the pandemic:

  1. Create a patient access task force.
  2. Assess barriers to patient access.
  3. Turn access barriers into opportunities.
  4. Implement an improved patient access plan.
  5. Scale and sustain better patient access.

Expanding AI in Healthcare: Introducing the New Healthcare.AI™ by Health Catalyst

As healthcare leaders continue to face unprecedented decisions around revenue, cost, and quality, they turn to augmented intelligence (AI) to maximize their analytics. However, leaders struggle to implement AI into existing business intelligence workflows, demonstrate ROI, and move AI efforts beyond predictive models. Health systems can overcome AI’s implementation challenges with the New Healthcare.AI™ offering by Health Catalyst. As a suite of AI products and expert services, Heatlhcare.AI integrates transparent, cutting-edge technology into existing workflows, allowing analysts to produce high-quality insights in minutes. The AI offering dramatically broadens the use and use cases of AI for any healthcare organization with a mix of self-service products and expert services:

  1. Analytics integration.
  2. Choosing/building predictive models.
  3. Optimizing predictive models.
  4. Retrospective comparisons.
  5. Prescriptive optimization.

Three Strategies to Deliver Patient-Centered Care in the Next Normal

Juggling financial demands, uncertain healthcare legislation, and COVID-19 can distract healthcare leaders from the most important aspect of care—patients. Delivering patient-centered care in this volatile market can be challenging, especially when traditional healthcare methods (e.g., in-person visits) are on hold. These sudden disruptions to routine care have highlighted the importance of keeping patients at the center of care, whether care delivery is in-person or virtual. Health systems can manage competing priorities, adjust to pandemic-induced changes, and deliver patient-centered care by focusing on three strategies:

  1. Improve the patient experience.
  2. Implement the Meaningful Measures Initiative.
  3. Transition in-person visits to virtual.

Innovative Healthcare Partnerships: Making the Most of Merging Resources and Capabilities

Healthcare mergers and acquisitions performed solidly in 2020, despite the downturn in the U.S. economy and healthcare in general. Organizations responded to new challenges by partnering with each other to build core business strengths, address gaps in care delivery the pandemic exposed, and enhance their resources to navigate current and future crises. Realizing the potential of emerging healthcare partnerships requires an open and scalable analytics infrastructure plus a cultural and contractual openness to allow innovation to flourish. Organizations that have adopted an open analytics platform have the data operating advantage to form partnerships, efficiently and smoothly bring best-of-breed solutions to market, and enable the innovative potential of collaborations.

2021 Healthcare Trends: What Leaders Need to Know from COVID-19 to New Administration Policies

While much of the healthcare industry was eager to put 2020 behind it, the new year brings its own challenges, concerns, and promises. Trends in the three main categories of new Biden administration policy, care delivery, and healthcare technology will shape 2021, with key issues including the long-term effects of COVID-19, future emergency preparedness, and the outlook for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Healthcare leaders can prepare for this pivotal year by understanding critical areas to watch within these categories and how events, activities, and political appointments will affect the healthcare ecosystem.

Shifting to Value-Based Care: Four Strategies Emphasize Agility

As the healthcare payment shift from fee-for-service (FFS) to value-based reimbursement takes longer than expected, health systems must balance existing volume-based models with a growing emphasis on value. Organizations are in different phases of the journey from volume to value, and policies continue to evolve. In response, the industry’s best stance is to sustain FFS revenue while following guidelines and strategies to be increasingly ready for value. Organizations can use four methods to remain agile as they navigate the limbo between volume and value:

  1. Understand the first ten years of value-based care and prepare for what’s next.
  2. Identify essential strategies for shifting from volume to value.
  3. Leverage the Medicare Shared Savings Program.
  4. Use population health management as a path to value.

How to Build a Healthcare Data Quality Coalition to Optimize Decision Making

Healthcare data-informed decision making’s complexity and consequences demand the highest-quality data—a relationship that COVID-19 has amplified. Decision-making challenges associated with pandemic-driven urgency, variety of data, and a lack of resources have made it more critical than ever that organization’s build a data quality coalition and strategy to ensure systemwide data is fit for purpose. Having the people, processes, and technology necessary to define, evaluate, and monitor data quality allows for a quick, effective, and sustained response at an organizational scale. The coalition keeps all resources working together on the task at hand within a well-defined structure.

Data Science Reveals Patients at Risk for Adverse Outcomes Due to COVID-19 Care Disruptions

One of the biggest challenges health systems have faced since the onset of COVID-19 is the disruption to routine care. These care disruptions, such as halted routine checkups and primary care visits, place some patients at a higher risk for adverse outcomes. Health systems can rely on data science, based on past care disruption, to identify vulnerable patients and the short- and long-term effects these care disruptions could have on their health. Data science can also inform the care team which care disruptions to address first. With comprehensive information about care disruption on patients, health systems can apply the right interventions before it’s too late.

The Key to Better Healthcare Decision Making

When healthcare leaders make data-driven decisions, they often think they see the same thing in the data and assume they’re drawing the same conclusions. However, decision makers often discover later that they were looking at the data differently and didn’t derive the same insights, leading to ineffective and unsustainable choices. Healthcare leaders can manage differing data interpretations by using statistical process control (SPC) methodology to find focus, avoid divergent data interpretations, make better decisions, and monitor change for a sustainable future. By deriving concise insights, SPC separates the signal from the noise, augmenting leaders’ decision-making capabilities.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Healthcare: Four Real-World Improvements

As COVID-19 has strained health systems clinically, operationally, and financially, advanced data science capabilities have emerged as highly valuable pandemic resources. Organizations use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to better understand COVID-19 and other health conditions, patient populations, operational and financial challenges, and more—insights that are supporting pandemic response and recovery as well as ongoing healthcare delivery. Meanwhile, improved data science adoption guidelines are making implementation of capabilities such as AI and ML more accessible and actionable, allowing organizations to achieve meaningful short-term improvements and prepare for an emergency-ready future.

The Three Essential Responsibilities of a Nurse Informaticist

With data driving decisions at every level of a health system, healthcare organizations must have data experts who can understand and communicate the technological processes and the reasons behind them to clinical staff. Nurse informaticists bridge the gap between data and nursing practice by combining clinical experience and data expertise. They fulfill three pivotal responsibilities:

  1. Understand and communicate the “why” behind new processes.
  2. Implement new processes.
  3. Validate data quality.
With a nurse informaticist guiding data-driven processes, educating nurses, and validating data quality, health systems advance data beyond the data platform so it reaches the nursing workforce to inform decisions at the frontlines of healthcare delivery.

Why Data-Driven Healthcare Is the Best Defense Against COVID-19

COVID-19 has given data-driven healthcare the opportunity to prove its value on the national and global stages. Health systems, researchers, and policymakers have leveraged data to drive critical decisions from short-term emergency response to long-term recovery planning. Five areas of pandemic response and recovery stand out for their robust use of data and measurable impact on the course of the outbreak and the individuals and frontline providers at its center:

  1. Scaling the hospital command center to pandemic proportions.
  2. Meeting patient surge demands on hospital capacity.
  3. Controlling disease spread.
  4. Fueling global research.
  5. Responding to financial strain.

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:

  1. Prepare for an outbreak.
  2. Prevent transmission.
  3. Recover from an outbreak.
  4. 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.

Healthcare Process Improvement: Six Strategies for Organizationwide Transformation

Healthcare processes drive activities and outcomes across the health system, from emergency department admissions and procedures to billing and discharge. Furthermore, in the COVID-19 era’s uncertainty, process quality is an increasingly important driver in care delivery and organizational success. Given this broad scope of impact, process improvement is intrinsically linked to better outcomes and lower costs. Six strategies for healthcare process improvement illustrate the roles of strategy, skillsets, culture, and advanced analytics in healthcare’s continuing mission of transformation.

The Healthcare Cybersecurity Framework: A Top Defense Against Data Breaches and Attacks

Between 2017 and 2020, more than 93 percent of healthcare organizations experienced a data breach. While digital technology and connectivity is increasingly critical in meeting operational and clinical challenges, such as COVID-19, more integration also enables increased exposure to cyberattacks that can impact care delivery, safety, and privacy. In response to healthcare’s significant and growing cybersecurity threats, vendor organizations and their health system partners need a security framework. A defensible protocol holds vendors accountable to routine audits and compliance measures at a regular cadence, ensuring both parties keep cybersecurity programs active and optimized.

Charlie’s 2020 Impact on Prescription Renewal Requests

Managing seemingly simple tasks like prescription renewal requests can be time consuming — pandemic or not, they continue to flood providers' inboxes. That's why we're excited to share the impact our renewal solution, Charlie, has had across our customers in 2020 and the years immediately leading up it. Charlie's ability to delegate and streamline the renewal workflow frees up time for providers and staff to focus on top of license activities and patient care.