Chad Johnson is a blogger and curator for HL7Standards, which focuses on how technology can revolutionize our healthcare system. In this post, Chad shares his insights on the role that patients, providers, and health plans play in this change.
What factors will shape care collaboration in the coming year?
One of the major motivations for organizations to adopt care collaboration is the ability to curb rising healthcare costs. To improve the quality of care and manage healthcare expenditures, all healthcare continuum participants must move toward a system that rewards improved patient outcomes.
What is the role of health plans in creating technology solution standards in accountable care organization (ACO) development?
To date, government organizations have predominantly set technology standards. For instance, the Office of the National Coordinator organized a workgroup to set the framework for ACO standards. These standards and the recent ACO pilots led by Medicare, such as Pioneer ACO and Medicare Shared Savings Program, will help guide health plans toward best practices during the shift from fee-for-service to pay-for-performance.
What HIT success stories are your favorite examples of improving care and reducing costs?
The e-Patient movement. The e-Patient can take on many roles, but in all instances, he or she is an individual who becomes active in the healthcare system and advocates for themselves and their community. There are well-known leaders in this space, including e-Patient Dave, a cancer survivor and well-respected speaker and activist for patient rights, and Hugo Campos, whose experience with difficulty accessing his data collected by an implantable cardiac defibrillator was highlighted in this TedX video.
What key advances in patient information management do you anticipate?
With the continued move toward health information exchanges (HIEs) and ACOs, patient portals will gain traction. Patients everywhere are starting to demand more control of and access to their personal health data, as evidenced by the growing e-Patient movement. This increasing demand for information will foster the adoption and evolution of patient portals, in my opinion.
Currently, patient portals are used for appointment reminders, insurance paperwork completion, and prescription refills, but they will become a platform that empowers patients to store, manage, and share their health data in real time. This collective data will be important to healthcare organizations looking to build resources and tools that will benefit patients in the long run. Organizations can use these portals as a communication platform and develop mobile applications that transmit data directly into the electronic health record (EHR).
What tools have been most effective for empowering patients to manage their health?
A pair of running shoes and a dog! Technology will not make someone healthier on its own. The tools that will be the most effective in empowering patients to manage their healthcare applications will focus on simple goals and behavioral changes. BJ Fogg, Stanford innovator and psychologist, stressed the effectiveness changing small habits one step at a time in his “Three tiny habits” program. Also, Habit Labs, founded by Jen McCabe, is focused on using gamification and social elements to encourage people to adopt healthier behaviors and stay active.
Where do you see the biggest potential for mobile care in 2012?
The biggest potential is in increasing patient access to healthcare services across regions and income levels. Doctors and nurses are using mHealth applications in places like rural Africa to help test vision through an iPhone eye chart app or make diagnoses with the help of advanced diagnostic tools.
The St. Vincent House in Galveston, Texas, is a great example of a mobile clinic. This organization provides patients with Street Screenings, in which nurses conduct free blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol level measurements in the community. Technology has enabled them to provide preventative services outside of the doctor’s office.
#HITsm attracts a wide variety of influencers. What will be the most important healthcare trend or development for all stakeholder groups in 2012?
HIEs, ACOs, mHealth, physician adoption of EHRs, and patient access to personal health records will continue to be hot topics in 2012.
Thank you again, Chad, for taking the time to connect with us and share your predictions. Do you have anything to add? Join the discussion on our blog, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Learn more about the developments that John Lynn of EMR and HIPAA blog, Shahid Shah of the HealthcareIT Guy blog, and other experts are watching in 2012.
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