Uptake of population health analytics on the increase – but gaps remain

A new KLAS report explores how pop health platforms are being used specifically for care management, and shows how various vendors' tools are able to support care managers' work.
By Nathan Eddy
11:50 AM

Vendors are struggling to keep pace with delivering care management capabilities due to siloed data and high variation in customer needs, even as providers keep pushing for better, more automated ways to manage the care of at-risk patients.

These were among the results of a new KLAS study examining care management in the context of population health management – which takes a look at the use of pop health software specifically for care management.

The study reveals the functionalities different vendors are able to provide – and, based on customer feedback, shows how well these tools are able to support care managers’ work.

Overall, while electronic health record vendors often offer many capabilities and have solid adoption rates, customer satisfaction tends to be lower, and vendors’ care management capabilities vary widely, with many offerings showing gaps in service and less than user-friendly attributes.

Among the vendors studied in the report, Arcadia’s platform drew good marks for consistently delivering new functionality that improves care manager workflows, making it easy to identify and document care gaps.

According to the study, Allscripts and Epic customers want more out-of-the-box functionality, with more user-friendly tools that connect to the primary care setting and smoother care manager workflows.

One of the big gripes from providers is that data is not consolidated or easy to navigate, and tools do not fit the workflow needs of care managers.

"To get actionable insights that fit their specific care management goals, organizations need flexible tools," KLAS researchers noted. "Notably, several high-profile PHM vendors are not included in this research because their CM functionality is too limited, too early or lacks sufficient adoption."

Some vendors, such as Cerner, offer identification and documentation tools, but the report also noted some customers want more guidance on pulling together data from different sources, which in turn raises issues of interoperability – a challenge the healthcare industry has been wrestling with across the board.

The report also singled out HealthEC, Enli, and Innovaccer for their ability to customize the longitudinal care record to focus on what is important to the specific organization, which also helps care managers to focus on closing relevant care gaps.

KLAS also noted social determinants of health capabilities, which are are driven primarily by customer needs, have resulted in more advanced provider organizations asking vendors to pull in assessment and clinical data related SDOH.

In this area, the study found HealthEC provides the broadest SDOH capabilities, with customers highlighting their partnering approach to development.

Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.
Email the writer: nathaneddy@gmail.com
Twitter: @dropdeaded209