Accountable healthcare organizations require doctors and physicians to get in front of patients and technologically get ahead of their conditions by anticipating what they are going to need for treatment. In the past, ACOs knew very little about their patients due to basing their knowledge solely on electronic healthcare records (EHRs) and the information about the patients, which the physicians remembered from their notes or from memory.
Many ACOs are now taking steps to fill the gaps in knowledge about their patients and become more familiar with them. Crystal Run Healthcare, a Middletown, N.Y. based multispecialty practice has been sending care managers to make a host of face-to-face services for those in need. Many of these services are non-reimbursable, but they are worth it since it helps keep patients healthier and happier by reaching out to them physically.
Other ACOs agree that it is better to have a machine analyzing big data from various sources for determining factors indicating that a patient might or might not be sick and analyze who may be flagged for further medical treatment. Christiana Health Systems has recently created a care management system that uses an analytic engine to monitor real time triggers using data collected from exchanged EHRs and data from outside the ACO along with physician’s notes and information from within the organization. The predictive algorithm flags patients and gives insight on why they might have been flagged and on how they may be treated. This system sorts data from emails, phone call records, and notes from physicians from various organizations for the analytic engine.
Healthline, a San Francisco based ACO, uses an analytics engine that analyzes structured and unstructured data in the practice’s EHR and looks for words and word combinations that may indicate a health or risk condition. This engine displays the most likely diagnosis and conditions for a patient at the point of care. In this system, physicians ultimately decide whether the results make sense or are clinically relevant and determine how to proceed with the information given.
As healthcare organizations become more connected, and as they move towards a more quality oriented healthcare practice as opposed to a fee-for-service model, it is likely that accountable health organizations will move towards analytics and big data. With analytics and big data, organizations will be connected with not only themselves, but with patients as they will now have more information about them at their fingertips to properly diagnose and treat them in anticipation.
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