By focusing on outcomes rather than actions, “value-based care” promises better patient outcomes at a lower cost. On the Healthcare IT Download podcast, senior healthcare strategist, Chris Logan, of VMware, spells out the challenges that providers face in moving toward this goal and how new technologies can make it happen, reliably and securely.
Logan described the radical shift that began with the digital transformation of healthcare, from paper-based processes to all electronic record gathering and sharing. These electronic systems led directly to this new paradigm, where, as Logan explained, “Purchasers of healthcare, whether it’s the government or your employer or a consumer, and the payers, both public and private, are now holding the healthcare delivery system accountable for both the quality and the cost of the care that’s being delivered.”
But, as with most things, getting to that point isn’t a simple task. Logan pointed out that consumers never go to just one place for healthcare services; primary care, specialists, labs, and surgeries can all create pockets of data. Logan said provider organizations are trying to develop effective ways to mobilize that data, that is, made available to any provider that needs access to it, without the limitations of siloed systems and multiple log-ins. Ultimately, this will require sharing agreements – and technologies – among different healthcare provider networks. But it’s essential to provide improved care at a greatly reduced cost.
Of course, with access and transparency comes the security and privacy risks that plague other industries, and healthcare is increasingly becoming a target. Logan suggests that the largest issues involve not only theft of personal information, but denial of access to patient data, due to ransomware or other malware. Availability of that data is critical to value-based care; without access, the risks to the patient go up, along with the costs of care. It’s incumbent, then, on IT leadership to work hand-in-hand with the policymakers to ensure access and security across the board.
Listen to the complete podcast, including Logan’s insights on the future of healthcare IT, here: