Imagine having a roadmap showing pathways to specialized patient care solutions, pinpointing specific community health barriers and needs, and influences not only present-day healthcare providers to practice in areas that align with their expertise but also direct future physicians to areas to serve patients. These are some of the functions of today’s population health management models.
Although the desire for meaningful medicine isn’t a new concept. I mean, physicians have recited the Hippocratic Oath as long as togas and public bathhouses were all the rage. But acquiring an advanced and measurable understanding of people living in specific communities, subjected to particular living conditions, risk and social determinants, economic indicators, etc., provide an unprecedented snapshot of a population and healthcare’s role in delivering personalized and equitable healthcare.
But healthcare’s management model is only as good as its data. And that’s where digital transformation is a strategic partner in healthcare advancements.
Let’s discuss a modern process that adds value to data and effectively directs healthcare services to more impactful and resourceful long-term solutions.
Capture unstructured data
Healthcare isn’t short on data. In general, people generate over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. For the more visual folks, quintillion looks like this on, say, one of Elon Musk’s checks: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000. It amounts to a lot.
Around 30 percent of the world’s data volume is generated by the healthcare industry. Experts at RBC Capital Markets say that by 2025, the data volume will balloon to 36 percent. Compared with other sectors, that’s 6 percent faster than manufacturing, 10 percent faster than financial services, and 11 percent faster than media and entertainment.
Nevertheless, much of that precious data is locked away in old hard copy medical practice processes, informal doctors’ notes or hard copy reports, a post-it note attached to the patient’s file, or verbally shared with the doctor.
But as physicians move to EHR patient records, with standardized patient data fields, healthcare stakeholders can access this valuable information and coordinate to develop personalized and potentially global care strategies.
Create a cooperative ecosystem
Captured data exposes indicators to support actionable factors impacting patient outcomes. This shared data leverage stakeholders to make decisions that anticipate and proactively expand targeted care services. For example, data may show higher incidences of asthma in a region. Based on this information, health delivery services can also anticipate sleep disorders, often associated with asthma cases, then share information with payers and their providers to discuss with patients.
While the prospect of creating a comprehensive data ecosystem is provocative, the healthcare industry has plenty of work to do to break down siloed relationships, improve interoperability, and reduce gaps in patient resources.
“The goal is to establish a health-data ecosystem with security and privacy requirements designed in from the start that continuously and efficiently collects and distributes timely, accurate, and comprehensive data among interdependent entities spanning all levels of society, leaving the world better prepared to tackle the next health crisis,” says Sheri Lewis, Aaron Katz, and John Piorkowski, of the Tech Stream team.
Once healthcare leaders move toward significant collaboration, the result will be a valuable data-based reference platform for launching long-term strategies. And that’s when healthcare innovation impacts lives.
Use global data to improve patient outcomes
For today’s healthcare organizations, the motivation for updating the population health management model is to improve clinical health outcomes of a defined group with coordination and patient engagement supported by appropriate financial and care models.
“As our health care system continues to strive to foster a society where all individuals can reach their highest potential for health,” says the American Hospital Association, Center for Health Innovations. “The AHA is focused on supporting hospitals and health systems to continue to evolve their capabilities to understand and meet the needs of patients and families.”
How will this newly collected data offer long-term solutions for health equity? How will it modernize global clinical trials? How will it direct personalized patient care? Can healthcare industry leaders work together to create a collective data-based ecosystem to develop cooperative strategies? How can medical schools incorporate this data into their curriculum?
A massive change in healthcare via population health management processes focuses on long-term patient outcomes.
With data as the foundation and digital transformation building the roadmap through innovation, more and more healthcare companies plan to improve their population management process with data as the driving force for improving their infrastructure and aligning their long-term goals with changing needs. It’s a long road forward. And digital transformation is a pivotal partner in the journey.