Healthcare has become a major concern for everyone. No one has found the ideal solution, but the hunt is on. The problem in healthcare has grown bigger and bigger with time; warranting for a universal solution that can bring an overhaul.
Major players of other industries have now started stepping into this field to solve the riddles of inefficiencies and rising costs. Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase are working on ensuring top-notch care delivery for their employees. Apple is planning a line of medical clinics. Google’s sister-company, Verily is looking at the insurance market, while Uber and Lyft are preparing to disrupt patient transportation services.
This move is only the latest in the long line of healthcare ventures. The CVS-Aetna merger in late December, came with a promise of a new era in analytics and population health. And not too long ago, a BCBS partnership with Lyft, Walgreens, and CVS focused on improving accessibility to pharmacy services made headlines.
The most proven, forward-thinking companies in the United States have decided to step into healthcare- and companies within healthcare themselves are joining forces. What do they see when they look at healthcare? What changed? How will they disrupt healthcare?
Evolution of Healthcare- a market ripe with opportunities
As big as it sounds for healthcare, this isn’t the first big consortium of employers that have tried to contain the rising costs of healthcare. Some have pioneered strategies like working directly with specific health systems, or have achieved significant savings compared to their competitors. And as we move forward and see more and more of these partnerships building, there are some very significant, albeit familiar questions:
Is healthcare even remotely close to the other parts of the economy?
Will that much-appreciated business model work equally well in healthcare?
Healthcare takes up almost 18% of the nation’s economy. Is it even possible to untangle this mix of payers, providers, and manufacturers?
Where do all these collaborations begin? What is the starting point of these new ventures?
When we look at healthcare, we see a system rife with inefficiencies, complex processes, skyrocketing costs, and dissatisfaction- with both patients and providers. For these upcoming partnerships, transforming healthcare with technology and providing patients better outcomes seems to be a likely starting point, but it is far from an easy proposition. The campaign to store data electronically started years ago, and ideally, it should have been fairly easy to access and use healthcare data. Instead, several different EHRs started creating several different architectures and built siloed datasets.
Healthcare- data and delivery, both- exists in disparate and disconnected forms and is yet to fully utilize consumer technologies- something these companies have mastered. While providers, payers, and all the other entities should focus on bridging the data silos, the patient should be at the center of this entire initiative.
Where to begin?
On the surface, the distribution of healthcare data results in poor accessibility of records. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. It translates into fragmented care delivery when a common patient has to navigate from his primary care physician to his specialist, from a lab to get tests done to a drugstore with gazillion papers. And more often than not, these systems are uncoordinated and have little visibility of the patient they are treating. Additionally, retail or banking companies have about three to four different kinds of data systems. And there could be hundreds, if not thousands, of data systems in healthcare. Bringing them all together, analyzing data records, and making sure these systems communicate with each other is the issue that currently plagues healthcare.
The primary step to enable healthcare’s transition to a data-driven sector requires healthcare organizations to piece these disconnected sources together. The integration of healthcare data on a single platform is required to provide the holistic picture of population that providers seek. These integrated records are the foundation which can power clinical insights, that would be valuable in analyzing cost and quality performance.
With new-age technology such as Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning, analyzing these records can give a detailed analysis of how the population is faring, what are impacts of even the tiniest care interventions, and what are the persistent leakages in the network. Plus with HL7 clinical data messages and FHIR resources, these insights would be accessible all over the network. This is an initiative that demands investment. A single platform to store and manage all the available patient data for an organization to analyze it and provide coordinated care can open up a million possibilities. This could cut down on the number of inefficiencies and the care continuum will move from a disease-centric one to a patient-centric one.
The road ahead
The cherry on top? Imagine if all these insights are available right on a provider’s fingertips. They don’t need to search for important information for their patients as they visit, find what their health status is, and if there are any looming gaps. A technology that can provide all this vital information to physicians the moment they open a patient’s record on an EHR can greatly reduce the time and effort spent. A technology where the consumer- both the patient and the provider- can gain control of care can enhance healthcare efficiency by leaps and bounds!
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Join Team Innovaccer at booth #30 this Population Health Colloquium, from March 19 to 21, at Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and learn how we can assist you in delivering an efficient, data-driven healthcare.