Where to invest growing digital health dollars

According to the HIMSS22 State of Healthcare report, 80% of health system leaders plan to increase their level of investment in digital health over the next five years.

The report also found that 60% described themselves as “stuck in the planning and pre-implementation stages” of digital transformation, either because they don’t have the necessary infrastructure or because they lack the high-quality patient and other data needed to achieve their goals. .

As more organizations open the digital front door, patient data and patient identity will become increasingly important, said Clay Richey, CEO of Verato. Verato is a healthcare digital transformation vendor.

We interviewed Richey about the types of digital health investments needed, getting health system leaders out of the planning and pre-implementation phase, the role of CIOs and other C-suite executives to “unstick” and relationships. Between the digital front door and patient data.

Q. According to HIMSS, most healthcare providers are increasing their digital health investments. Where do you think the main investment should be made?

A. Healthcare organizations are upping their game in terms of digitally transforming their operations, from behind-the-scenes administration to patient-face interactions at registration desks and exam rooms.

In fact, our recent report found that 99% of health system leaders see investment in digital health initiatives as critical to their ability to compete in the marketplace.

Healthcare leaders should focus on investing in these areas, but it is important to note that new technology is not enough. Healthcare organizations run the risk of failing to realize the full potential of these efforts unless they invest both time and money to ensure that their organization’s data is clean, accurate and organized, especially when it comes to basic elements like patient identification.

After all, you can’t reach your patients or other consumers, or analyze and manage them effectively without accurately and reliably knowing who they are.

Q. Most health system leaders say they are stuck with planning and pre-implementation when it comes to digital health, according to HIMSS. In your experience, why do you think this is?

A. Interoperability and digital health are on the agenda of every healthcare CIO, but the challenge is that critical information about patients is captured in siled systems. The barrier to true transformation to digital health is that it requires a system with a consistent data model across the healthcare enterprise.

As patients, consumers, members enter health systems through various channels, starting as targets in marketing campaigns, in affiliated clinics or through telehealth visits, they enter the organization in various systems, and the care journey will contain patient data. Access to additional systems.

The complexity of getting a complete 360 ​​view of a patient, consumer or health plan member has definitely increased.

Q. What should healthcare CIOs and other C-suite executives do to get unstuck?

A. It all comes back to the need for a solid foundation of accurate and reliable data to digitize every aspect of the healthcare organization – from behind-the-scenes administrative tasks to care delivery to patient interactions, whether it’s in-person or. online – and it should include basic patient data.

More healthcare organizations are looking to digital tools and solutions in hopes of achieving goals such as de-stressing burned-out employees, automating administrative tasks, acting on more reliable healthcare or population health insights, and more.

This digital-first approach has great potential to solve some of the biggest challenges in healthcare today, but it also means that organizations are inundated with more data streams than ever before.

This data and digital overload can leave organizations feeling paralyzed, and unable to unlock the true value of their digital investments, or even how and why to begin their digital transformation journey.

Reliable and accurate patient data is key. Healthcare organizations must be able to accurately match and unify records across all systems – EHRs, CRMs, telehealth, patient portals, call centers, PACS, home health, pharmacy, etc. And they should do this across their entire network: hospitals, physician groups. , ambulatory surgery centers, freestanding radiology departments, long-term care, and clinics to understand who.

By knowing who creates the link between systems, and with this foundation in place, healthcare organization leaders must align with everyone from their frontline providers to the decision makers in the boardroom to digitally transform their organization.

Having this solid foundation also makes it easier to truly understand the ROI your organization can achieve in the digital transformation process, and it’s easier to make and stick to decisions when you have all the right data points.

Q. You suggest that as more organizations open the digital front door, patient data and patient identity will become increasingly important. Please elaborate.

A. In today’s evolving healthcare landscape, patient identification is becoming increasingly important but also more complex and complex. Name change. People move. Gender identity and family structure change.

Is John Smith in our EHR a person who lives on Main Street or another city on Maple Avenue? Is Michelle Johnson in our emergency room right now the person who had her appendix removed last year or the patient we are currently treating for Alzheimer’s — or both?

As the needs and identities of our patients evolve, healthcare technology must evolve with them. Healthcare organization leaders increasingly recognize that legacy identity solutions tools are no longer functional.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents to our current survey are concerned or extremely concerned that inaccurate patient data will negatively impact their quality of care and their bottom line. What’s more, statistics show that historically, 10% of medical records are duplicated due to poor patient identity management, and nearly a third of insurance claims are denied due to identity issues.

It doesn’t have to be this way. It is now becoming easier for healthcare organizations to match their patient data from different sources – even outside of the EHR – to help organizations better understand their patients and rely on more accurate data.

To transform the healthcare IT infrastructure, you need to have the same patient data in all systems and across all organizations in the network. This has many benefits for providers and patients. It helps organizations give patients and their providers access to their health records anywhere, anytime.

It gives patients easy access to online portals. Ultimately, better data gives providers and patients a more frictionless care experience, while it enables more successful digital transformation in the healthcare organization.

Understanding who’s who in the healthcare enterprise supports strategic initiatives such as M&A, consumer-centric transformation, equitable healthcare, risk management, claims denial and patient satisfaction.

At the end of the day, more advanced technologies are not enough. To truly transform and stay competitive in the digital age, leading healthcare organizations realize they need to know their current and potential patients as completely as possible.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the author: [email protected]
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS media publication.

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