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How do you assess your organization’s readiness for technology that works best for telehealth, SDOH and patient care and engagement?
With overwhelming changes in the provider, reimbursement and value-based payment landscape, many organizations wonder where to focus their energy and resources. Leveraging technologies while ensuring that people with chronic conditions are cared for and populations are managed appropriately is a balancing act—especially in the era of COVID-19.
But how does an organization know it’s ready to embark on strategic technology implementation? Providers and organizations often depend on grant-funded and other nonguaranteed incentive dollars, which can place the full integration of technology adoption at risk and create project silos. But a number of factors position an organization for being able to successfully reap
the benefits of any technology, analytic, social or clinical patient engagement tool. Here are some.
Start by assessing current state capabilities and functions. This will help your organization understand how investing in health IT can provide an opportunity to meet market challenges, now and in the future.
· Value and innovation outlook. Prioritizing technology as a conduit to change and product enhancement is a must. Engaging stakeholders and decision makers early in the discovery process will ensure consistent assessing of how technology fits into your organization's vision and mission.
· Digital health and alignment. With the rapid uptake of emerging tools and solutions, it’s important to reevaluate your existing technology partners (e.g., your EHR or health IT platform), such as for patient engagement. Understanding how current functionality and services compare with your goals can uncover gaps and highlight the best mitigation approach.
· What’s at risk? Participating in value-based payment models encourages organizations to collaborate with health care partners and activate population health activities to achieve Triple Aim objectives. Using a whole-person approach to understand emerging patient preferences and health priorities mitigates technology misalignment, preventing unattainable targets and an inability to evaluate what works.
· What’s the gain? Changes in reimbursement rates and technology options have resulted in more adaptability and in partnerships whose approach aligns with organizations’ priorities. Although it can seem overwhelming, implementing health IT can help an organization understand current gaps and see opportunities for efficiency. If technology is designed with high integration (data and processes) in mind, it often illuminates unexpected channels and methods patients use to prioritize their health and can help manage barriers to care over time.
· People, processes, system integration. Workflow and data integration are crucial components of effective health IT implementation and sustainability plans. Consider the components below when evaluating potential issues and risks, or when exploring advancement, enhancement or automation—this is only a partial list!
o Business drivers and external health care forces (e.g., changes in policy and program availability).
o Financial and operational priorities.
o Care delivery and clinical improvement opportunities.
o Health IT/HIE.
o Care coordination/management.
o Patient engagement and outreach.
o Performance improvement and reporting capacity.
Whether technology aligns or integrates with care teams, care management, patient outreach or standard care delivery practices, it’s here to stay, so it is essential to identify resources that secure product adoption. We often emphasize the “go-live” more than the “stay-live.” Technology solutions can come with a myriad of functionalities that are generally enhanced over time. At
a minimum, organizations should design a roadmap with their technology partner to ensure accountability for what comes next, to discuss what’s working well (or what’s not) and to plan future stages of adoption or expansion, so they can reap the rewards and benefits of technology that meets current and future needs.
What are your thoughts?
1. How do you identify the clinical engagement or social needs of your population?
2. What are your organizational functionality (services or product) needs?
3. What challenges are you experiencing with integrating or adopting technology?
Let us know in the community forum .
Vanessa Guzman,CEO,SmartRise Health
Vanessa Guzman is an expert in population health strategies, including patient and physician engagement strategies, clinical reporting, health IT and quality management models, and CEO at SmartRise Health. With almost 15 years of industry experience, she works closely with health systems, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), technology, and SDOH partners to collaborate in implementing data-driven tools, clinical infrastructures, and community partnerships to promote wellness and improve patient health outcomes.
Vanessa served as the Associate Vice President at the Montefiore Health System, a top-performing ACO in the country, overseeing physician partnerships, population health and quality improvement, and health information technology.