Premier develops industry IT standards for ACOs

By Diana Manos
10:58 AM

Experts from 28 of the nation's leading health systems have developed an industry standard information management capability roadmap for coordinating accountable care, Premier Healthcare Alliance announced Friday.
Keith Figlioli, Premier senior vice president of Healthcare Informatics, said the model outlines the key IT capabilities that will be required to support the evolution of organizations from the current fragmented, transaction oriented care delivery model to a fully accountable, coordinated care model. 

Premier's Accountable Care Implementation Collaborative members will leverage the model to help shape their decisions on what technology they need to implement and the sequence in which they need to bring that technology into their organizations, according to Figlioli. The collaborative currently includes 28 health systems with more than 120 hospitals and 5,000 physicians providing care for 1.4 million patients across 23 states.

[Read about Premier's ACO Readiness Collaborative.]

The chief information officers and chief medical information officers who developed the guidelines are part of the collaborative’s Population Health Data Management workgroup. The workgroup’s purpose is to identify key population health data management strategies and capabilities required to facilitate successful accountable care models.

"The CIOs have a very hard job right now," Figlioli said. "They're in the weeds, tactically, with meaningful use, and a lot of people are still struggling." In addition, they are working on developing capabilities for accountable care coordination and resigning clinical workflow. "What we're seeing and feeling from them, is they're trying to figure out how to balance it all," Figlioli said. "This model should help them."

Figlioli said this first model is one of many in a line of iterations Premier plans to develop over the coming years.  

Collaborative members said they developed a phased approach that ultimately will lead to seamless accountable care coordination and clinical integration through the following “levels of maturity,” including transaction, integration, collaboration and transformation.

According to Figlioli, within each stage there are specific IT-enabled capabilities identified as critical to success in that level of maturity. Different organizations are at differing levels of maturity, but to truly deliver accountable care organizations will need to achieve the transformation level.

"Today, health data is often not complete, timely or relevant with health indicators in different formats making them difficult to compare," Figlioli said. "To truly provide accountable care, health systems need data that is unified, easily-accessed and from providers, payers and patients. It is this type of free-flowing exchange of dependable data that can get our healthcare system to where it needs to be."

Figlioli said Premier's ACO strategy "is really about bringing a framework to our groups. It's about transparency and data measurement, sharing best practices and sharing in ways that help to define performance."

 IBM is working with Premier to develop an industry-first technology platform that will support this model to improve population health, Figlioli said. It will allow hospitals, doctors and other health providers to work together to enhance patient safety while reducing the overuse of procedures, readmissions, unnecessary ER visits and hospital-acquired conditions.

[See how IBM and Premier plan to work on improving population health.]

More regional news

CMS Administrator Seema Verma and National Coordinator for Health IT Dr. Donald Rucker

Is synthetic data the key to healthcare clinical and business intelligence?

The open source synthetic data source, Synthea. (Diagram courtesy of The MITRE Corporation.)