Consumerization Is Going to Force Your Healthcare Data Management Strategy Hand

Megan Williams

A few years back, healthcare data management strategies generally stopped at the walls of clinical and revenue cycles. But the advent of patient-centered trends and the rise of healthcare consumerism has caused a shift that data management professionals can’t afford to ignore.

Between wearables, remote patient monitoring and healthcare consumer data platforms, patient-related data isn’t just exploding, it’s changing the face of healthcare tech solutions and data management overall. Healthcare needs an approach to data management that focuses on patients but also gives healthcare employees some breathing room to do their jobs.

Benefits of a Patient-Centered Data Management Strategy

Value-based care already has a good portion of the industry shifting their perspective, and your data management strategy should be no different.

This new push to prioritize patient outcomes while reducing costs means that proven results — evidenced by collecting, storing and tracking data — are now critical to an organization’s bottom line. For example, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) is connected to value-based changes in payer reimbursement. It tracks access and effectiveness of care and requires accurate tracking of elements like readmissions and ED utilization. It also relies heavily on measures collected using electronic clinical data systems.

A data management strategy that prioritizes proper governance is a powerful tool in ensuring measures like these are properly addressed by identifying issues with reporting, measurement and coding.

Prioritizing patients also means taking a fresh look at your security processes. The amount of healthcare data breaches continue to break industry records according to ModernHealthcare and HealthcareDive, who note that it beats all other verticals in terms of reported attacks. A data management strategy that focuses on the safety of patient information isn’t just a benefit for patients who want to stay safe from identity theft — it protects organizations from multi-million dollar fines, like the record $16 million dollar settlement recently paid by Anthem, as reported by Healthcare Leaders Media.

Patients care about security, and with the majority of hospitals allowing patients to access their EHR, a modern data management strategy has to take this shift into consideration.

How to Align Your Data Management Strategy

If you’re working in a healthcare organization, chances are that you’re facing patient-centered or value-based changes and your data management strategy needs to catch up.

According to CIO.com, this means more than just data governance — it means getting your business processes and technology requirements on the same page. This includes EHRs, revenue cycle solutions, clinical workflow solutions and patient engagement platforms. Selecting solutions that align with your overarching strategy will ensure a higher ROI and help you make smart decisions faster.

As you’re rethinking your strategy for a patient-focused world, consider these tips:

  • Identify key business challenges: Healthcare organizations are sitting on legacy systems and practices that often were selected years or even decades before patient-centered cultural shifts began in the industry. Identify your current business and data management challenges so that you can begin moving in a better direction.

  • Step away from a piecemeal approach: This leaves you with different departments having access to different data and increases the chance that this data is conflicting or inaccurate. A holistic perspective will be necessary in the age of healthcare consumerism.

  • Look for technologies that can support dynamic change: Healthcare is shifting fast and you need forward-focused solutions and strategies that are aligned with your future needs.

Your biggest challenge will likely be building synergy between IT and business goals. While this is an ongoing process, stepping forward with a strategy that is aligned with modern healthcare challenges is a powerful first step.

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