Population Health: Solutions Guide – October 2016

Sept. 27, 2016

Snapshot: Patient Engagement

How to encourage active participation

Results from the 2016 CDW Healthcare Patient Engagement Perspectives Study of 200 patients and 200 healthcare providers show that there are, indeed, two sides to every story. Both patients and providers alike agree that the two most valuable methods for encouraging patient engagement are web-based access to healthcare information and online patient portals.

But, providers see significantly greater value in mobile applications than patients, while patients see significantly greater value in online chat capabilities than providers.

The aim of the study was to explore patient engagement from both perspectives to better understand how needs, challenges, and motivators differ between the two groups.

In the big picture, 74 percent of patients say greater access to healthcare information would help them take a more active role in their care. Sixty percent of providers believe that providing patients with greater online access to their personal healthcare information would improve their quality of care. Download the full CDW report at cdwnewsroom.com.


Bulk up health IT for pop health success

Want to be successful in your population health efforts? Spend on health IT.

That’s a key takeaway from the 2016 Economic Outlook survey (spring edition), a biannual effort from healthcare-improvement company Premier to highlight major trends affecting healthcare providers and the industry at large. When asked to rank areas of high projected capital spend, 84 percent of the 82 health-executive respondents put health IT high at the top of the list.

Having interoperable data across the entire continuum of care (including employed and affiliated physician networks) is critical for providers to seamlessly manage population health, according to the Premier results. While 68 percent of executives say their organizations are successfully accessing ambulatory data from employed physician networks, just 38 percent feel they’re successfully accessing data from affiliated or non-employed physician networks.

“It’s one thing for providers in the same organization using the same systems to successfully share data,” said Michael J. Alkire, COO at Premier, in a statement about the survey findings. “Integrating data across disparate systems is something else altogether. Many affiliated practices lack the proper incentives to invest in high-cost data-sharing agreements and interoperable interfaces.”

What’s the answer? “We urgently need public policies that require health IT interoperability standards,” said Alkire, “so providers can access data from any system.”

Source: Premier


But how engaged do physicians feel?

With all the focus on patient engagement initiatives, what about the providers? How engaged are they? athenahealth wondered that too, and so used its Epocrates clinical decision support application to poll more than 2,000 physicians throughout the software’s national user base.

The goal was to find out how engaged providers felt in their work. The results may surprise you.
Physicians were asked to characterize their level of engagement by responding to three statements:

  • My organization inspires me to go above and beyond what is required.
  • I am very likely to be working for my current organization three years from now.
  • I would recommend my organization to a friend or relative to receive care.

Overall, the results showed that physician engagement is low across the board (with only 20 percent of respondents meeting the criteria for engagement established for this survey), and engagement is particularly low in primary care.

Other survey questions provided more context and delved into the effects of leadership on physician attitudes. Results from these show that leadership structure plays a critical role in engagement: Thirty-two percent of physicians who perceive that their organizations are led by other physicians are engaged, compared to 8 percent for those stating their organization isn’t physician-led. Ownership also seems to play a role: Physician-owned medical groups generated 32 percent engagement compared with only 17 percent for medical groups owned by health systems and 14 percent for those owned by hospitals.

In the end, the research identified three major drivers of provider engagement from the survey results:

  1. Satisfaction with leadership: While less than half of physicians are satisfied or very satisfied with leadership overall, 74 percent of engaged physicians reported being very satisfied with leadership. Specifically, physicians look for high-quality physician leaders who communicate, empathize, and demonstrate a high level of expertise.
  2. Trust between physicians and non-physician executives: Trust in leadership, and a belief that the organization follows through on its commitments, were both highly correlated with physician engagement. According to additional athenahealth research, trust between physicians and non-physician executives erodes when there is a lack of communication. Over one-third of respondents noted communication skills are a necessary attribute of a strong leader. Physicians trust leaders who clearly articulate an organization’s vision and develop a plan to support it, without sacrificing employee satisfaction.
  3. Intentional workplace design: When physicians feel they have a workplace environment that enables them to focus on what they do best – deliver high-quality care to patients – they are engaged at almost four times the level of the physician sample overall. Aligning workplace design with physician workflows optimizes performance, reduces burnout, and improves the quality of patient care.

Read about the study and learn more in-depth results at https://insight.athenahealth.com/strong-physician-leaders-key-tackling-change.

Source: athenahealth


Unleash the power of interoperability

For population health to have an impact on the quality of healthcare delivery, IT systems across the healthcare community, including individual physician practices, hospitals, clinics, labs, and radiology centers, must be able to exchange data seamlessly. Open Exchange – a new set of interoperability capabilities available to healthcare providers who use the Caradigm Intelligence Platform (CIP) – provides an answer. It supports a range of interoperability solutions and standards (such as IHE.NET standards, DIRECT, and a REST-style architecture) to make provider population health initiatives complete and successful. This solution is noteworthy because it goes well beyond the capabilities offered by most interface engines. It is able to both ingest and codify data and deliver this information to anyone, anywhere within the healthcare community. Caradigm

Get improved predictive analytics

Allscripts and Hospital IQ have entered into a strategic partnership to make Hospital IQ’s predictive analytics platform available to Allscripts Sunrise and Allscripts EPSi clients. The operational planning and management platform aims to enable Allscripts customers to align resources such as staff, operating rooms, and inpatient beds with actual and predicted patient flow. Hospital IQ’s cloud-based predictive analytics platform helps hospitals optimize efficiency through data-driven performance improvement, leveraging proven operations research and data science, including real-time predictions, “what-if” scenario simulations, and automated business intelligence for systematic efficiency optimization. Allscripts, Hospital IQ

Connected health – the next big step

Royal Philips and Pegasystems have joined forces to enable managed care service providers and ACOs to leverage connected devices and health data to personalize care and improve health outcomes. By connecting the Pega Care Management Application to the Philips HealthSuite Cloud platform, caregivers can remotely manage care with connected health applications to provide immediate access to a patient’s health status. Now care teams – from physicians and nurse practitioners to home caregivers and care managers – can identify potential health issues in the moment and coordinate a timely response to intervene and improve adherence to personal care plans, decrease hospital readmissions, and lower total costs. These connected health solutions also provide an integral step in the pathway to deliver successful and efficient population health management. Royal Philips, Pegasystems

Major regional health plan switches to InterQual

A major regional health plan, and the oldest and largest health insurance company in its state, has signed a new multi-year agreement to use InterQual. Key to this decision was McKesson’s InterQual Connect authorization and connectivity solution, which helps the plan expand auto-authorization to cover requests requiring medical review, all within their existing care management workflow. The health plan uses ZeOmega’s Jiva, a leading population health management platform, for its care management workflow. Thanks to ZeOmega’s integration of InterQual Connect into Jiva, the health plan’s in-house nurses and network providers will gain the speed and efficiency of automated exception-based utilization management process without ever leaving their familiar Jiva application or InterQual workflow. McKesson, ZeOmega