Tue, 08/14/2018

Last week, I went to see a presentation on the importance of an enterprise data foundation to drive analytical change in healthcare. It made me think about two articles I read recently:

The first article covered Dr. Frank Opekla's testimony in front of congress on behalf of The American College of Surgeons and American Medical Association.  He discussed the possibility of shifting from merit-based incentive payments for EHR use to encouraging a broader use of sources that extend beyond the EHR. His key point was that the focus on EHRs alone is too narrow when in advancing care information there are many more sources to consider.

In addition, the EHR should be a key data source and a consumer of analytics, but not serve as the enterprise data and analytics foundation. Dr. Opekla concluded with “There is so much more we can do for quality and for lowering costs by leveraging digital information. “We have to stop thinking of EHRs and think beyond them.”

The second article was based on the results of a Quest Diagnostics survey on value-based care. The survey results showed that physicians and executives were not optimistic about the prospects of improvement through value-based care. They focused on the lack of data that was available through the EHR.

Some statements this article makes are worth mentioning:

  1. Healthcare organizations need to have a strategy that supports making all of their data an enterprise asset that can be leveraged.
  2. The majority of healthcare organizations do not take an enterprise approach to leveraging their data.

These pieces take me back to the presentation I mentioned at the beginning of this blog. It was given by St. Luke’s University Health Network, a partner of ours. The speakers discussed how they took an enterprise approach to data management and the enormous benefits seen in their rapidly growing network. A few takeaways from their presentation are:

  1. Engaging stakeholders early and frequently is important
  2. Tying data and analytic priorities to network initiatives helps ensure ROI
  3. Using their EHR to create an enterprise data layer was not sensible

Their project has led to a number of industry accolades and has helped the network solidify its reputation as a leading high quality, low cost service provider.

To summarize, getting beyond the EHR is not only possible, but a requirement for networks that want to lead in the effort to move to new value-based care models.