Three ways technology can support providers as you transition to value-based care

Moving from fee-for-service to value-based care has created monumental changes for providers, altering how we get reimbursed, how we care for patients, and how we document and coordinate care.

Technology is often positioned as a key enabler in achieving better health outcomes and providing more affordable care. We have invested in tools to digitize and connect electronic health records (EHRs) among care team members. We are identifying gaps in care, using patient-centric tools for informed patient engagement at the point of care, and developing tools that empower patients to be accountable members of their care team. However, technology can also increase the administrative burden for providers, contributing to physician dissatisfaction and burnout.

Practice transformation is a continuous process of building and aligning systems to succeed in a value-based environment by driving toward the Quadruple Aim: Reduced cost, improved outcomes, increased patient satisfaction and increased care team satisfaction. As you consider how technology solutions will be part of your transformation journey, here are three considerations to help ensure your technology can support providers as you embark on your own transformation to value-based care.

Technology should augment the provider

Physicians and the care teams they lead are truly the heart of a successful transition to value-based care. As we continue this journey, it is time to look at technology from the physician’s point of view. Technology solutions should serve as a tool to augment the provider in achieving a desired result in their organization. The provider should not have to adjust their clinical judgment and their workflow to accommodate technology. We should be working with our providers to first understand the specific problems they are trying to solve and then explore opportunities to maximize existing technology to assist in achieving the desired outcome.

Technology should deliver simple, actionable data for the entire care team

Data for the sake of data is a miss. Individualized technology solutions will provide meaningful, actionable data to drive decisions by all members of the care team: The patient, providers, and community. We must use technology to filter the most important data, present it to the appropriate care team member—including the patient—in a meaningful way, at the moment the information is needed, and drive action to achieve desired outcomes. At the same time, privacy rules continue to hinder progress in advancing coordinated technology strategies. Providers and provider organizations still receive piecemeal data from multiple sources that is not always integrated or accurate. There has to be a way to identify patients across locations in a secure fashion to increase safety, identify transitions, and simplify relationships.

Technology should enhance the physician-patient relationship to drive change

As technology drives the empowerment of providers and patients, it will subsequently drive powerful improvements in healthcare. To illustrate this point, think of EHRs as the flip phone of healthcare. Adopting this basic technology enabled providers and patients to have access to discrete actionable data, quicker access to patient records, and asynchronous communication with patient portals. To better coordinate the care team, it’s time to move to the next generation of technology, to the smartphone. That means deploying enhanced user experiences and more advanced capabilities that create greater opportunity for providers and patients to act upon meaningful, personalized information.

Smart’technology to drive change provides the following:

  • Care plans accessible to the patient and broader care team;
  • actionable data presented to the care team as part of their normal workflow;
  • streamlined user interface/user experience for providers and the care team;
  • ease of reporting meaningful data;
  • interoperability to enhance care coordination and population health management ; and
  • the ability for patients to access information they can understand and provide self-management support that is crucial to improvement in health care decisions.

Empowering providers to drive active patient participation: An example

Administrative and physician leadership participating in a value-based care model identified a goal to improve health outcomes and reduce related costs for treating patients with chronic disease. Identifying high-risk patients was only one part of the equation. Once identified, the team sought a way to help providers or other care team members assist patients in changing their behaviors and becoming more engaged in their care.

Through focused data analysis, leaders identified an opportunity for an expanded, integrated care team to work together with the patients to address behavior changes that would enable the patient to improve self-care for chronic disease.

The solution included an integrated care team engaging in verbal interaction and as well as newly defined workflows that maximized collaboration with the patient to determine their treatment goals and care plans. Patients engaged with their provider, a clinical coordinator, and digital tools. Progress was monitored using a shared dashboard accessible by all members of the integrated care team.

The results delivered on the Quadruple Aim: Fewer emergency room visits for patients, improved control of chronic diseases, improved patient satisfaction, and high primary care provider satisfaction with the program.

Value-based care is here to stay, and organizations that have embraced the shift are beginning to reap the benefits in the form of improved health outcomes and enhanced affordability, benefiting our patients and providers who are passionate about caring for them. Engaging with your physicians is an important strategy in identifying opportunities where you can use technology to further enhance physician and patient engagement, as the industry continues to move forward.

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