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FCW : September 15, 2014
September 15, 2014 FCW.COM 25 The Veterans Health Administration represents a vast health care entity that stretches across all 50 states, the Caribbean and the Pacific Rim. It employs 275,000 clinicians and admin- istrative professionals who serve 8.2 million enrollees at 152 medical cen- ters, 827 community-based outpatient clinics, 300 veteran centers (including 70 mobile centers) and 127 community living centers. It is critical for an organization of that size to change with the times, and the times are definitely changing with respect to health care. Indeed, the volume-based care model — which pays physicians based on how many patients they treat and how many tests, treatments and procedures they prescribe — is on the way out. Dr. Robert Jesse, principal depu- ty undersecretary for health at the Department of Veterans Affairs, has declared that volume-based care is being replaced by value-based care, in which patient outcomes, costs of treatment and quality of treatment (i.e., treatment value) determine pay- ments and reimbursements. Medical facilities and providers across the United States are respond- ing to changing priorities with team- based care models and tools such as provider-, patient- and systems-facing health management platforms, tele- health and remote monitoring, and mobile applications that generate the volumes of data required to compete in this new environment. Nearly all the health system CIOs and other C-level executives who responded to a recent survey by the eHealth Initiative and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives said they believe data ana- lytics will play a big role in the future success of accountable care and other value-based initiatives. However, most reported only moderate or minimal commitment to integrating data ana- lytics into practice. Why is that the case? It’s a question worth asking, because when it comes to big data in health care, there’s no shortage of supply. Most health care organizations today, public and pri- vate alike, have little trouble cap- turing enough data. Instead, the big challenge facing today’s health care providers — from general practitio- ners to clinicians in radiology, oncol- ogy, surgery and other specialties — remains how to leverage all the data to effectively improve workflows, patient care and financial steward- ship regardless of care setting. And although there’s no single solu- tion to managing data for enhanced outcomes in every health care setting or circumstance, there are proactive strategies and solutions federal health care organizations can implement. Generally speaking, the most effec- tive solutions and strategies consist of three primary characteristics: • Begin with the end in mind. What serves as one of Stephen Covey’s seven habits of highly effective people is also a useful strategy for using the power of big data to address patient challenges. Many providers in both the public and private sectors struggle to BY MARK BYERS A VistA expert offers three keys for turning health data into improved care and lower costs Using big data to benefit veterans DrillDown Most health care organizations today have little trouble capturing enough data. Instead, the big challenge remains how to leverage all the data to effectively improve workflows, patient care and financial stewardship.
September 30, 2014
August 30, 2014