Population health is a manual process now, but just wait until the tech matures

HIMSS Analytics says hospitals are still learning to leverage clinical and business intelligence tools, but the outcomes gleaned from pop health could one day put meaningful use to shame.
By Tom Sullivan
04:01 PM
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Population health

Brendan FitzGerald, Research Director at HIMSS Analytics speaking at the HIMSS Pop Health Forum in Boston earlier this year.

Amid all the excitement about analytics, fewer than half of hospitals are putting clinical intelligence tools that enable population health management to work today.

“Pop health is still a pretty manual process,” said Brendan FitzGerald, Research Director at HIMSS Analytics. “Having a dedicated solution, let alone a dedicated analytics platform, to address pop health is not as widespread as one might think.”  

HIMSS Analytics’ new Clinical and Business Intelligence Essentials Brief, in fact, found that only 48 percent of respondents are using clinical intelligence tools while the other 52 percent are not. 

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Healthcare organizations are more commonly using business intelligence for areas such as revenue cycle and financial performance as well as operational intelligence software to address issues such as patient satisfaction and supply chain, FitzGerald said.

And when it comes to clinical intelligence, meaningful use has been the main driver.

HIMSS Analytics found that among those currently using clinical intelligence software 70 percent listed meaningful use requirements and reporting as the top area of focus, followed by patient outcome improvements at 39 percent and reducing readmissions at 35 percent.

Population health and disease management tied at 30 percent. FitzGerald said that hospitals will continue focusing more on population health as the technology matures.

“Outcomes from pop health are like meaningful use outcomes on steroids,” FitzGerald said. “Hospitals are already moving that way and they are learning to leverage CI and BI platforms for both.”

Twitter: SullyHIT
Email the writer: tom.sullivan@himssmedia.com