HIMSS Grows Along with the Rise of IT Healthcare Solutions
The mega growth of IT healthcare solutions continues, as Frontier Capital experienced firsthand at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference in Chicago last month. This growth is obvious with this year’s conference drawing more than 40,000 attendees and 1,300+ exhibitors. After visiting more booths than we can count and attending nearly as many presentations, we are firm believers that the power of software and tech-enabled solutions will help solve some of our country’s biggest healthcare challenges.
Scott Hoch, one of our principals, shares a couple of the latest trends and insights that were discussed at the conference:
Population Health Management
Population health management is comprised of three ideas:
- The aggregation of patient data across multiple health information technology resources,
- the analysis of that data into a single, actionable patient record,
- and the actions through which care providers can improve both clinical and financial outcomes.
Applying predictive analytics to the gathered health data prompts health care providers, payers and patients to make the most responsible healthcare choices, while both reducing costs and improving outcomes in a meaningful way.
At HIMSS, we saw real results being driven from the digitization of medical information, and the usage of that data to drive decisions. One significant example came from a session with Advocate Health Care executives. Advocate is an accountable care organization (ACO) – a group of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers that together voluntarily give coordinated high quality care to their Medicare patients. Advocate is using data to identify and allocate resources to patients who are most at-risk for readmissions, complications or adverse events. They have not only identified a specific population, but also the “most impactable” population, and are applying targeted interventions in the right setting. They believe that impactability is a growing category of “at-risk” patients. It’s the subset of high-risk patients whose health outcomes can be positively impacted with targeted care, such as with data-informed changes to post-acute care. Advance estimated a $200 million benefit in cost of care and improved outcomes.
As popular and progressive as population health management is, the issue of getting systems to share data continues to threaten progress. Healthcare IT vendors are responding by offering interoperability tools to work around the hesitancy of electronic health records (EHR) vendors to share aggregate patient medical data.
Better population health management will occur as health information exchanges (HIE) are able to normalize and harmonize, and provide a longitudinal view of patient health data for all providers, from primary care physicians to a variety of specialists.
What additional IT trends do you see emerging in healthcare? We’d love to hear more about it.