Helping to Cure Physician Workflow Woes with Shots of Actionable Data

Posted by Quest Diagnostics on May 9, 2017 9:31:18 AM

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new survey by Premier suggests that health system leaders are "moving from meaningful use to meaningful insights:" 53% said they "will increase a push to integrate data from disparate sources and/or make investments in analytics.” To see real ROI on these investments, however, data must be actionable and fully aligned with the providers’ existing workflow. Since this was precisely the topic discussed during a recent discussion between David Freeman, general manager for Information Ventures at Quest Diagnostics, and Chuck Webster, workflow guru and HIMSS17 social media ambassador, we thought we’d share some highlights from that conversation. Enjoy.

Regarding data and workflow and how they work together

According to Freeman, “Data represents potential, but in its commonly raw and unorganized form it can do very little. Everything on a patient’s record, from a single lab test to an HCC code, does have value, but in isolation those data points can offer limited insights. Today, there are experts tasked with mining data for trends and insights, but pulling insights and making them actionable at the point of care is still a great challenge.

Workflow is what enables physicians and others at the point of care to ensure the highest quality in the most efficient manner. Critical, highly-considered steps are required for each patient visit, and deviation from this process leads to costly disruption, which can impact quality and affect outcomes. For this reason, not all technology is well-received in a healthcare setting – if it fails to consider highly structured workflows and tight interdependencies it will have limited utility, no matter how innovative it may seem.

When data-driven insights meet workflow in a stepwise fashion – inserted when and how it’s needed - meaningful actions can be taken. It’s our mission to understand how that data can be most useful and present it in a form that works for the user.”

On why introducing data into the workflow is critical to value-based care

According to Freeman, “Value-based care is predicated on the notion that all steps in the care delivery continuum are optimized. How this happens, and with what sets of data, depends on the relationship between the health plan and the health systems and all constituents involved, from the quality manager and practice manager to the physician and his or her patient. Value-based care relies on data, but that data must be actionable and be fully aligned with how work is done – in its flow.

If data exists but cannot make its way from a quality manager to the point of care, then it’s outside the workflow and may not have an impact. Likewise, if the data used at the point of care isn’t aligned with specific goals for quality, population health or other objectives, the exercise is more about optics than real alignment for change. The only way to make an impact is to align data to specific value-based care models that can be tracked and tweaked within a feedback loop.”

To see Freeman’s full responses and all of Webster’s questions, please see the full interview. Follow Chuck on Twitter at @wareflo to stay engaged in the workflow conversation.

Topics: MACRA, Health IT