The information has to be there. It has to be accurate. And someone has to take action. This definition of accountability, which healthcare currently grapples with and must find a way to realize, is not possible without technology.
In an industry under pressure to contain costs and improve outcomes, big data is proving to be a valuable asset. But data alone can't move the needle. It's all about how it's analyzed to drive smarter decisions.
Developed in fee-for-service environment, EHRs are designed to address the workflows within a given office or hospital, and are created more as documentation tools from which billings can be generated. They are not designed for collaboration across organizations.
"Population health" is a term that is widely used in healthcare, but not universally understood. Various definitions emphasize outcomes, measurement or accountability. So what does population health truly mean?
Bolstered by healthcare payment reform that includes incentives for adopting and using technology, hospitals and health systems are aggressively developing narrow networks to serve as ACOs -- and are betting big on health IT advances.
With most patient data now being recorded in a shareable form, we're poised to accelerate population health IT. Now it's on to the next set of major challenges, which will be front-and-center at HIMSS15: sharing data and putting it to beneficial use.