The healthcare knowledge supply chain — best practices for hospitals and health systems

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Although useful healthcare knowledge exists in current data, it is often difficult to retrieve.

However, emerging technologies have made it possible to create a sophisticated healthcare knowledge supply chain. This approach can close critical gaps in care and create a foundation for a more efficient and effective health system. 

During an April webinar hosted by Becker's Hospital Review and sponsored by Holon Solutions, four experts discussed how healthcare knowledge supply chains deliver improved outcomes for patients, providers and all stakeholders: 

  • Michael S. Barr, MD, executive vice president, quality measurement and research group, NCQA
  • Monica Bolbjerg, MD, CEO, Qure4U
  • Blackford Middleton, MD, chief informatics and innovation officer, Apervita
  • Jon Zimmerman, CEO, Holon Solutions

Four key takeaways were: 

  1. Data like NCQA quality measures is critical to the healthcare knowledge supply chain. NCQA quality measures define what is supposed to happen when data gathered from disparate sources creates the knowledge that informs what actually does happen in a care episode. NCQA produces HEDIS measures, the Quality Compass® benchmark, health plan report cards and ratings, the State of Health Care Quality Report and more. Later this year, NCQA will introduce the Data Aggregator Validation Program which will make reporting less burdensome. It is also examining which paper-based HEDIS specifications should be digitalized. "As NCQA develops new measures, we are focusing on measures that address priority populations, encourage electronic data use, align across levels and support multiple use cases," Dr. Barr said.

  2. A coordinated healthcare knowledge ecosystem is the only way to enable precision medicine and a patient-centric learning system. Many healthcare organizations aren't seeing a return on their EHR investments due to interoperability and usability challenges. Data simply isn't flowing to the places where it is needed for clinical care, research and public health. Apervita offers a system of insight that sits on top of EHR systems and patient engagement tools. "We update the system with new knowledge as quickly as it becomes available so clinicians can optimize care," Dr. Middleton said. "Apervita enables a learning healthcare system by supporting a near frictionless flow of interoperable data and computable knowledge."

  3. The key to transforming healthcare is delivering insights into the clinical workflow. Holon provides pertinent, personalized knowledge for clinicians by sensing users, creating context and delivering content where it is needed. "We've created a patented workflow-sensing technology that operates unobtrusively behind the scenes," Mr. Zimmerman said. "As providers work in their EHRs, we provide knowledge through an assistive user experience, so clinicians can take the best action for their patients." 

  4. Virtual care platforms improve outcomes by engaging patients throughout their care journey. Virtual care platforms create a "circle of care" with multiple patient engagement touchpoints. This technology improves access to care by eliminating barriers and making it easy for providers to individualize treatment. Once patients are engaged, it is possible to collect data through remote monitoring tools and to send alerts to the care team. "When it comes to virtual care platforms, a must have is field-to-field, bidirectional integration with the EHR system," Dr. Bolbjerg said. "The platform should also support multiple EHRs and all types of mobile devices. If you provide a seamless experience, you can get very high levels of patient adoption."

To view a recording of the webinar, click here

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