According to statistics compiled by Dell EMC, there were nearly 8.41 petabytes (PB) of healthcare data in 2018. A lot has changed since, but the rate at which healthcare data is generated has been on an incline. Thanks to technologies and compliance measures that have shaped the healthcare industry in the past couple of years, healthcare data has been put to work.
The bulk of this data covered through surveys, assessments, RPM devices and EHR integrations are like tugboats pulling preventive care forward. Preventive care entails regular check-ups, screenings and immunizations, but its core idea is to avert a healthcare episode keeping the population healthier in general.
Why Preventive Health?
Preventive care with regular check-ups and screenings allows the patient and the provider to work as a team, leading to shared decision-making. Patients can get the most relevant tests and screenings based on their personal health records, chronic health data, and the latest tests. Physicians can enhance care delivery when this data is easily accessible to them, and in certain cases, begin the healthcare intervention prior to a major episode.
Detecting diseases before they take shape and form helps save millions of lives every year. COVID-19 has brought virtual care and telehealth into mainstream care delivery, making it possible to provide care without being physically present. This is very helpful when a small number of physicians are catering to a relatively large patient population. Preventive care also involves patients taking care of their own health. For this, they may seek the help of their physicians. With proper patient engagement tools and a patient app, providers can impart educational materials to help patients keep track of their goals through one simple platform.
Technology makes it easier for individuals to manage their own health, stay connected with their providers and have access to their EHR. It also allows providers to improve the quality of care based on quantifiable measures such as the number of ED visits, readmission rates, and length of stay.
A New Age Preventive Health System
The success of a preventive care system rests on three crucial pillars: identification, tracking and management. Identification relates to reducing health information asymmetry or unifying data from various sources of origin. The amalgamation of data from disparate sources is essential for the early identification of health issues. Tracking is necessary to ensure that patients adhere to set goals and appointments while learning healthy habits. Management describes the availability of care when needed and a strong care delivery network where providers and care teams come together to care as one. If we observe, in each of these three aspects, data analytics and a common platform play a pivotal role and can help with collaboration and keeping track of patients.
Preventive care also involves keeping the various socio-economic factors of the patient population in mind. Keeping track of Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) and sharing this data with care teams is essential to ensure that the care intervention translates to improved patient health.
Challenges in Adopting Preventive Care
Listed below are some major challenges providers may face in implementing preventive health:
1.) Rigid Ideology of Patients
The majority of patients steer away from visiting physicians unless sick. Patients tend not to consult their doctor when they feel healthy, but if they could be made aware of the importance of regular check-ups, it could reduce their chances of becoming sick again.
2.) Cost Barriers and Budget Allocation for Providers
Providers need to have a proper budget to implement preventive care. Since private insurance plans cover recommended preventive services without any cost-sharing on behalf of the patients, they should be liable to allocate a proper budget for providers to implement a comprehensive preventive care program in their facility.
3.) Inadequate Time and Staff
Time is a resource scarcely available for physicians. This becomes a challenge when they have to go through every patient’s record all the time. If the information they need to treat a patient is available on one screen, it would save them a lot of time and effort. Health coaches and care teams can play a pivotal role in improving preventive care efforts.
4.) Lack of Infrastructure in Rural Areas and IT
It’s not easy to carry out preventive care because of a lack of infrastructure, particularly in rural areas. People living in rural areas have various connectivity issues that challenge the digital delivery of care. The impact of SDoH in these areas requires extensive study to improve health drastically.
As health systems are getting more and more interconnected, interoperability is a buzzword; some of the larger health systems are truly trying to adopt technology to improve care delivery. Considering these shifts, it might be the right time to put a comprehensive data activation platform in place.
Innovaccer’s FHIR-enabled Data Activation Platform
The FHIR-Enabled Data Activation Platform assists you at each step in the process and ensures that stakeholders across the continuum can care as one and drive preventive health.
Interoperability beyond compliance needs: The platform supports customized workflows and cross-system connectivity. It has support architecture for CMS requirements and much more.
Fully managed, developer ready: The platform’s managed services model ensures outcomes are achieved, with an interactive developer sandbox and marketplace hosting environment to support a true platform ecosystem.
Two-way interoperability: The platform can directly integrate data from EMRs, and export it through FHIR or any standard format at your convenience for true bidirectional exchange of high-quality data.
Enterprise security: PHI/PII security beyond Oauth and Open ID authentication, including ACL and security-specific attribution for access control, as well as HIPAA, ISO compliance with regular compliance vendor validation.
Data Analytics could go a long way in identifying disease patterns, major health issues, population profiles, probability of disease outbreaks and so on. With the right technology, providers can engage patients with their health and have complete visibility of a patient’s history and improvement in health. Smarter systems can help avert health emergencies and reduce cases of serious illness such as cancer and more.
To find out more about how an FHIR-Enabled Data Activation Platform can transform your practice, get a demo .