By ABHINAV SHASHANK
U.S. healthcare is nowhere near what technology made us dream of a decade back. Healthcare technology was meant to act as a means of reducing costs, eliminating burnout, and making care delivery patient-centric. Cut to today, where a broken leg can cost a patient as much as $7,500, 7 out of 10 physicians do not recommend their profession to anyone, and we rank poorly among other developed countries in terms of the number of preventable deaths.
Why did technology fail?
While disruptive technology solutions did flood healthcare in the last couple of decades, many of them required physicians to go the extra mile to comprehend those sophisticated systems.
Today, physicians are still crunching large data files day in and day out, nurses are doubling up as technical executives, and patients are perplexed by the fact that their providers hardly have time for them.
It's time for technology to care
If a technology solution is not assisting organizations in improving care quality, reducing costs, and optimizing utilization levels, then its very relevancy is questionable. Healthcare organizations need technologies that can help them actuate their data, realize their strategic goals, and bring patients closer to their providers.
Health IT solutions should make the lives of providers easier. Any health IT solution that puts an additional burden on providers is unjustified and unacceptable. Providers are not data analysts and expecting them to train tirelessly to understand an IT system and spend a couple of hours each day navigating through complex interfaces can drastically reduce physician-provider time and pave the way for physician burnout.
In with ultimate integration. We need to bring together EHRs, PHMs, payer claims, and HIEs and put it all in the palm of the providers' hands. Whether it's quality management or data management, it should be simple.
In with relevant insights right at the point of care. Providers are tired of wading through complicated EHRs and excel sheets. What we need now is to seize the nanosecond and realize truly automated care delivery that helps boost the clinical outcomes.
In with 100% transparency and bidirectional interoperability. Healthcare providers are often forced to access bits and pieces of electronic healthcare analytics and referrals on disparate applications. Physicians need to capture real-time care gaps, coding opportunities, patient education opportunities, and more; the only problem is that they don't know how exactly to accomplish this. Providers should be able to capture the gaps in patient care right when they need to and enhance the patient experience of care.
In with true patient-centric care. Healthcare is not just providing episodic care to patients, it is about building relationships with them. In a world where the quality of care directly influences the financial success of an organization, providers should look forward to aligning the needs of their patients to their treatment procedures.
Healthcare of the 2020s needs reliable data activation platforms
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."
- Albert Einstein
Buzzwords like innovation, intelligence, and analytics make sense in today's time; however, unless the user experience is seamless, the charisma of backend development does little good for healthcare professionals.
We're moving into an age of intelligence, and in this age, successful organizations do one thing right- they know the worth of their data. This is the same thing that we need to do in healthcare. Organizations have to switch from a makeshift approach to engage patients and find a concrete strategy that is suited to their advantage, but this needs to be done with the support of data.
To correct everything that is wrong with healthcare technology, we need to reevaluate how we look at it in the first place. Partial patient views on EHRs cannot advance the mission of value-based care. Unless provider teams know what factors impact their patients the most and what patients do outside the four walls of their facilities, they cannot formulate a strategy to address those factors at a population or even individual level.
Organizations need AI-enabled data activation platforms that can surface relevant insights in real time to enable evidence-based care. The ability and speed at which such platforms can ingest, cleanse, and actuate data coming in from disparate sources are pivotal in making it happen.
The road ahead
Technology isn't healthcare - it is merely a medium to optimize its quality. The future of healthcare technology will be defined by the amount of data systems can process to generate actionable information relevant to all the stakeholders across the healthcare spectrum. It's time we bring data closer to reality, engineers closer to doctors, and care closer to patients.
Abhinav Shashank, Co-Founder & CEO at Innovaccer, is an expert in population health management and robust technologies. For the better part of the decade he has been working to revolutionize healthcare delivery with 25+ value-focused organization and making over 10 million lives better.