Healthcare Improvement Moving Both Fast & Slow: IHT2 NYC Reflections

Oct 4, 2016 | Blog

by Alan Eisman, SVP Sales and Business Development

HBI Solutions was a sponsor of the recent iHT2 HIT Summit held in New York City. I was heartened by the reports of progress many health systems have made using HIT to improve population health. But at the same time, I’m reminded how slowly it’s taken the industry to get there.

For example, I heard a talk on clinical decision support (CDS) several years ago. With CDS, the EMR guides the clinician to the right interventions based on longitudinal patient data, medical research, and established protocols. The promise was that CDS would have little to no impact on the clinician’s productivity and would not induce alert fatigue. Afterwards I asked the presenter, and early health IT pioneer Paul Kleeberg, M.D., where CDS was in production. He smiled and said nowhere.

This exemplifies that while there’s no shortage of ideas in health IT, the hype has been as fast as the actual progress feels slow. In an environment with ever evolving regulations and in which today’s revenue is tomorrow’s expense, this is no surprise. While the feel of the Seattle IHT2 HIT Summit I attended in August was mostly aspirational, the New York City HIT Summit demonstrated the hard work and incremental progress made.

At the event, Dwight Brown Enterprise Analytics Manager of the Mayo Clinic along with Sanjay Pudupakkam CEO of Avatar Business Solutions, described the Mayo program to centralize and automate the manual and fragmented process of abstracting 350 plus measures. The program started due to frustration with needing to continually add staff to manually process all the data, much of it contained in text fields. But in addition to stabilizing staffing, the real silver lining was the new found ability to leverage the data for analytics. This is helping Mayo prepare for payment reform, remain competitive, and produce reliable, credible performance data increasingly tied to reimbursement and incentives.

Speaking of data integrity Lin Wan, Chief Technology Officer at Stella Technology reminded event attendees not to forget why we do what we do. We put good data into your systems because it will help everyone.

Of other talks I found inspirational, one was given by the NYC Health & Hospitals Corp (HHC) the largest US public health system, and the other by one of New York’s DSRIP Performing Provider Systems (PPS) in Staten island. The HHC IT leaders discussed their transition from a 25-year-old EMR and hundreds of disparate applications to EPIC. The Staten Island PPS discussed their progress to provide better care to the Medicaid population. DSRIP will fundamentally restructure the health care delivery system investing up to $6.42 billion toward population health. The primary goal – to reduce avoidable hospital use by 25% over five years. In a follow up conversation, one provider explained that each dollar spent on community safety net care saved three in preventable costs such as ED visits.

Mony Weschler, Chief of Innovation Strategy at Montefiore reminded us that telemedicine is not new at all. It’s been around since the 70’s, but smart phones and other devices have increased its use and potential. Again the NY leaders talked about real and smart progress. Rahul Sharma M.D. ED Physician Chief at NY Presbyterian talked about how telemedicine had dramatically cut wait times in the ED by leveraging remote physicians to perform routine evaluations and allowing the ED staff to focus on triaging patients with true emergencies.

At the event dinner, hosted by KPMG, the conversation got more boisterous. We all clamored for progress in a proverbial New York minute, emphasizing the urgent need to implement value-based care initiatives. I believe organizations that do will substantially increase their market share as more of the population transitions to accountable care.

All of these presentations and conversations further solidified that we at HBI Solutions are on the right track. We’re focused on, Precision Health, a new approach to managing care using health data to better predict, prevent, and personalize treatment before a condition becomes acute, chronic, and costly. Our peer-reviewed predictive models incorporate real-time EHR data, unstructured data like visit notes, claims and billing information, as well as public data sources. This is essentially CDS on steroids. HBI Solutions allows providers to be fast and smart. Don’t take it from me, hear how one of our clients, St. Joseph Healthcare incorporates precision health into their daily workflow to succeed in a value-based health care world.