Dashboard: Staffing/Scheduling

Feb. 21, 2014

Target Skill Sets

Why clinical informatics is the key to your long-term success

By Daniel Garrett

It’s been proven time and again in the health industries that when you have the right information at the right time, the result is better outcomes. That’s the simplest explanation there can be of why clinical informatics is the key to long-term success in the health businesses.

What’s important is to have clinical informatics delivered when it is impactful and convenient for the patient, while you’re serving patients in locations where patients want to be served and at times when they want to be served.

When you step back and look at the health IT (HIT) industry, it’s clear we have gone through several major changes. HIT has moved from a focus on infrastructure, finance and the revenue cycle to a preoccupation with the world of electronic medical records (EMR), and it now has transformed once again to focus on how to better serve patients, physicians and providers in a much more robust way.

This has forced HIT professionals to respond by developing new talents in new areas, developing skills in applications, analytics and emerging technologies that will effectively provide that much more of a robust patient experience – and higher quality care.

In the developing healthcare environment where patients take more control over their care and have ever-increasing expectations for IT-enabled communications and care-giver interaction, IT becomes a competitive weapon for providers to increase patient flow.

Physicians will align with hospitals based on their technology capabilities – starting with basic IT infrastructure and on to remote monitoring, telehealth and mobile capability in patient communications. They will expect access to output from robust clinical informatics as they get more experience with using this data to communicate with patients and follow their outcomes.

Some of this patient/member engagement will involve social media for scheduling and to improve access to and interaction between the patient and physician. Some of this will involve telehealth, remote monitoring to remove the time and location barriers between physician and patient. All of this will involve clinical informatics, collecting and aggregating data and creating actionable information.

Increasingly tech-savvy consumers will naturally expect higher levels of IT competence across their healthcare experience. And that’s why it’s so important for the long term – because it’s all about letting physicians serve patients better and more efficiently. 

Similar developments are happening in the payer IT community, where instead of informatics serving the patients, payers are looking for informatics to serve the member as well as the provider communities. In this context, better clinical informatics becomes a key to reducing waste and improving efficiency between patient, member, payer and physicians.

Daniel Garrett is a Principal in PwC’s Health Industries practice and leads the Health Information Technology group.

© 2014 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the United States member firm, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details. This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.

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