Whitepapers & Briefs
Building Patient-Centeredness in the Real World: The Engaged Patient and the Accountable Care Organization
Patients that are actively engaged in their own health care are essential to the success of today's accountable care models. This paper examines the separate but intertwined ethical, economic and clinical concepts of patient-centeredness and how ACOs provide a structure for turning those concepts into a functioning reality. It reviews the evidence that patient-centeredness can significantly improve care and costs, and it looks ahead at challenges related to making patient-centeredness an essential part of care.
Engaging patients in these ways can produce significant clinical, economic and social gains. The paper examines five organizations that have engaged patients in the hospital and outside of it in ways that have improved the patient experience of care, clinical metrics and cost-effectiveness. It also addresses the patient’s experience adjusting to this new, more engaged role.
The Role of the Direct Project and NwHIN Exchange in HIE Platforms
How to get health information exchange (HIE) moving rapidly to improve care quality, safety, efficiency, and cost is one of the major healthcare challenges taken on by the Obama Administration.
With more than half of all physicians still in paper-based practices, the task ahead is enormous. The strategy is two-fold. To encourage providers to get connected, the federal government is offering financial incentives for physicians and hospitals to “meaningfully use” technology and health information exchange. In addition, to ensure that no physician or care setting is left behind, the government has been working to enhance and augment existing vendor products in a standards-based way – in other words, defining the lowest common denominator that all platforms should support to ensure secure transport of health information. This effort is carried out through two important initiatives: NwHIN Exchange and the Direct Project (formerly NwHIN Direct). They represent two sides of the same HIE coin – two different approaches for two different stakeholder groups with the goal of driving more electronic exchange of clinical information in the marketplace.
Semantic Interoperability: Why It’s Essential for ACOs and What’s Required to Achieve It
Interoperability of health IT systems within and across organizational boundaries has long been the holy grail of healthcare technologists.
This whitepaper discusses the critical importance of semantic interoperability to both realizing the potential of electronic health records (EHRs) across the care continuum and making care-delivery reform initiatives, such as accountable care organizations (ACOs), successful.
It also describes the high-level framework for reference terminology services that a vendor must support to enable health information exchanges (HIEs) to achieve semantic interoperability.
Technology Fundamentals for Realizing ACO Success
The accountable care organization (ACO) concept is a critical piece of the government's current health reform agenda. ACOs aim to create a health system focused on coordinated care and clinical best practices by holding all members of a patient's care team jointly responsible for the quality and cost of care.
Successful ACOs must have an information technology infrastructure with specific competencies to support governance, operational, and clinical goals and objectives.
At this very moment, providers are planning ahead to have the infrastructure in place to implement the model when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issues its rule for bundled payments and ACO qualifications in 2012.
In this ACO whitepaper:
- Find out which key technology pieces are required to enable a successful ACO
- Learn how to obtain viable ACO technology capabilities today and how to adapt to ACO changes over time
Issue Brief: Key Components of a Successful HIE Strategy
What is the best way to build a health information exchange? Answering that question is the focus of communities and states, hospitals and physicians across the country in the wake of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. ARRA is infusing billions of dollars into electronically connecting providers so they can improve the quality, safety, and cost of care for patients. Providers must rapidly demonstrate "meaningful use" of health information exchange to qualify for stimulus funds.
Issue Brief: Quantifying the Value Proposition and ROI for Electronically Connecting Hospitals and Community Physicians
Hospitals have an opportunity, spurred by stimulus funding available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), to create and expand health information exchange (HIE) both with current affiliated physicians and with the broader healthcare community. To date, information about the value of an HIE solution to different types of physician practices with different levels of EHR adoption has largely been anecdotal. A health system seeking to increase referrals and strengthen relationships with community physicians can benefit by understanding this value proposition.