When it comes to analytics in value-based care, patients should be the focus — 3 experts share insights

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For value-based care to succeed, health systems must leverage analytics and vendor relationships to ensure the actions they take add value.

Healthcare experts discussed how data analytics impacted value-based care initiatives at Becker's 4th Annual Health IT + Revenue Cycle Conference, Sept. 20 in Chicago. McGuireWoods Associate Christopher DeGrande moderated a panel comprising:

  • Thomas Howell, MD, Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic's medical director of patient experience
  • Barbara DeBuono, MD, MPH, 3M Health Information Systems' vice president of clinical strategy and value-based care
  • Tamara Cull, DHA, Aveus' senior vice president

For Dr. Howell and the Mayo Clinic, the early days of improvement were looking at Press Ganey scores and figuring out how to raise them. Mayo discovered it was lacking an actionable element – and found it in analytics.

"We have real data with real numbers that now, at a very granular team or provider level, they can actually do something about," Dr. Howell said. "It's meaningful to the patient and it drives what we're all trying to do at the end of the day. That's been the approach – to really peel it back and say, 'What's the driver underneath those things that someone can do something about?'"

Dr. Cull agreed with Dr. Howell, stressing how actionable insights are essential to adding value.

"If you are going in with a group of physicians, starting this kind of program, it has to be something they can impact," Dr. Cull said. "They'll tell you if they feel it's something they can't impact. I can promise you they will."

Dr. Cull also highlighted the importance of collecting and utilizing patient-reported outcome data. Dr. DeBuono took that thought a step further, identifying what EHR vendors must do to advanced value-based care

"It boils down to the interaction that a patient is going to have with a provider," Dr. DeBuono said. "So, at the end of the day, what does that person need to do an effective job of managing that patient? I would say that whatever the metrics are, that's all upstream. What I need [to know] is who are the people I should really focus on. I'd like some sort of an alerting system in the EHR or workflow that alerts me to something I should be aware of to better manage that person. That alert might be that the person visited an ER that I have no knowledge of. … What I'm getting at is lots of us do the analytics and we use metrics, but what I'm finding – and as a company, [what] we see – is a need in the market to be able to get the right information to that provider at the right time, so they can do the right thing for the right person."

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