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Christine Candio talks about the transformational impact that technology is having on the patient-care life cycle

By | January 24th, 2018 | Blog, Industry Reports | Add A Comment

 

Christine Candio

“From an organizational perspective, digital transformation has required us to evaluate our organizational structure and leadership education.”


Christine Candio, President and CEO of St. Luke’s Hospital, recently gave us the pleasure of discussing her views on the transformational impact that technology has on the patient-care life cycle, as part of a collaborative industry report conducted by IIC Partners, including Furst Group and other Life Science and Healthcare Practice members.


How does digital transformation affect the patient care life cycle for your organization?


Our main goal with the utilization of enhanced digitization of our healthcare data is to improve the overall health and wellness of our patients. We see this evolving as we focus our goals around the ‘ownership’ of the patient record, our ability to use data to find opportunities to proactively manage patient populations, and to set a strategy in place for digital outreach to our patient populations and deliver care when and where they require it. From a data ownership perspective, we are in the process of implementing an integrated Electronic Medical Record (EMR) solution, allowing for a single consolidated patient record. We are then layering on top of the EMR a patient portal which we will use to effectively communicate the overall status of a patient’s health, allowing them access to their records and be able to interact with our organization in real-time.


The long-term goal of this use of technology is to remove the historic silos of data and transition the ownership of those records to the patient to better manage their own health. In addition to the single EMR platform, we are implementing a robust data analytics and population health solution that will enable us to identify populations of patients and their associated risk level. By using this data, we can proactively focus on patients that are at high or rising risks to better manage and identify care opportunities.


How does digital transformation change the demands in existing leadership structures and what new roles arise as a result of digital transformation?


From an organizational perspective, digital transformation has required us to evaluate our organizational structure and leadership education. Over the past few years, we have identified positions and committees such as a Chief Medical Information Officer, Population Health Physician Liaison and the Informatics Committee. These aim to better align the needs of physicians with information technology being delivered by the organization. We have also created new leadership areas such as a population health department. As our strategy begins to take place around telehealth, we will need to consider the leadership necessary to support this initiative as well.


What are the largest challenges when it comes to digital transformation and patient care for your organization?


There are a number of challenges when considering and implementing these new technologies. The largest opportunity that we are currently managing is our ability to keep up with the ‘rate of change’ with these technology solutions. Although the amount of data and the capabilities and utilization of that data is bringing a tremendous amount of opportunities to the healthcare industry, these solutions are being developed faster than many organizations can implement them. When considering this and the ever-changing regulatory environment, this constant and rapid rate of change on many healthcare providers, especially the physician community, can cause a tremendous amount of stress and burnout. It has been very important for us to build a strong relationship with the physician community that includes their involvement in the process from strategic planning to solution implementation. These solutions need to be carefully rolled out in a mindful way that takes into consideration the impact on our healthcare providers, their workflows, and our patients.


How does digital transformation of other key players in the healthcare system (hospitals, health insurance, pharmaceutical companies) impact your business?


The ability to have data transparency across all sectors/players in the healthcare industry is critical for our organization and our patients. The capabilities to data mine clinical activities within our single EMR is very beneficial, but still leaves the overall patient health profile incomplete. Without access to insurance and claims data, any services provided outside of our system are not acknowledged, and will possibly falsely show as a gap in patient care or opportunity. Without the data from pharmacy beneficiary managers and pharmaceutical companies, we will not have access to medications that patients may be paying out of pocket for, again falsely showing gaps in medication compliance. These false positives will be a drain on our healthcare resources and frustrating for patients. It is critical for our organization and as an industry that we continue to push for data transparency and standards.




Do you find similar challenges in your organization? We’d love to hear your thoughts below in the Comments section.


You can find more insights on this topic in the full IIC Partners’ industry report, “Impact of Digital Transformation on the Patient Life Cycle,” which includes more interviews with top healthcare executives around the world.


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Regional Health President and CEO, Brent Phillips, shares his perspective of technology’s influence on Healthcare.

By | December 5th, 2017 | Blog, Industry Reports | Add A Comment

 

Brent Phillips, Regional Health President and CEO

“I personally want to see more roles that look at HOW we capitalize on digital transformation and not just how to adopt it.”


In a recent interview with Brent Phillips, President & CEO of Regional Health, we explored, in collaboration with IIC Partners, the impact that digital transformation is having on healthcare and the patient-care life cycle.


How does digital transformation affect the patient care life cycle for your organization?


I would like to see digital transformation really shift the patient care life cycle paradigm on its head. Digital transformation can allow patients to receive care when they need it, in an environment where they need it—in their “lifespace.” This can be the home, office or even in the classroom. Reimbursement models will need to adapt to allow for this, but digital transformation in other aspects of our lives will push our patients to demand this type of care. Another example of this is the site AnyLabTestNow.com, which allows patients to order and review lab results for simple blood tests, hormone tests and genetic screening without a physician order. Why would a patient need to come to a traditional healthcare setting when these types of services are offered? We need to consider how we will tap into these new options and still provide traditional healthcare services for those that need it.


How does digital transformation change the demands in existing leadership structures and what new roles arise as a result of digital transformation?


The new role I have created at Regional Health, for the Chief Performance Officer, is a great example of a leadership role developed to support the changes that digital transformation is bringing. The idea of bringing together system-wide services such as enterprise intelligence, quality and operational performance management makes so much sense. This will allow us to better connect technology to the patient care life-cycle. This next comment may be controversial, but I think the role of the CMIO and CIO will diminish and disappear over time. All caregivers need to use technology ALL of the time, and this won’t be seen as a unique skill set but rather mandatory. Standardization is being driven by both technology and value-based care, which will also drive less need for IT development and support. Cloud technologies will create less reliance for on-site IT personnel. I personally want to see more roles that look at HOW we capitalize on digital transformation and not just how to adopt it.


In what ways does big data impact your organization and how can it improve the patient care experience?


I am not sure that “big data” is the term I would use. However, transformation of data to information will have a huge impact—if we approach it correctly. We need to know what the right “test questions” are and focus more on our use of data. This has been a challenge in every healthcare organization I have worked in. We need to start small, show value and process improvement through data and then expand. I think we will see more consolidation of data sources, and this will become advantageous for organizations like Regional Health. We will need to watch this space and understand how to tap into these sources. Technology that allows us to bring together disparate data is also changing and becoming less costly and more available, but there is a cultural challenge to overcome for institutions. Many people are stuck in the traditional data warehousing mentality and this can have a negative impact on transformation. Regional Health will benefit from data interoperability efforts, especially for people visiting remote areas who need our care. If we can connect with their home healthcare organizations and retrieve necessary data, this will allow for safe and efficient care delivery.


What are the largest challenges when it comes to digital transformation and patient care for your organization?


Cost. State-of-the-art technologies are not inexpensive and changes in reimbursement are not making it easy for us to continue to invest heavily in some of the infrastructure we need. At the same time, people are reluctant to move to the cloud which also isn’t necessarily inexpensive either. There is definitely a lack of skilled people available in data analytics and integration of technology. Finally, culture is a major challenge given that we haven’t been early adopters to technology in general and now we are playing catch-up.


How does digital transformation of other key players in the healthcare system (hospitals, health insurance, pharmaceutical companies) impact your business?


Our competition is no longer local—it is everywhere, even international. When a patient can conduct a virtual visit in a more convenient way than they can with Regional Health, how do we convince them to still come to us? There will also be technologies (e.g., remote monitoring, medical devices) that will allow for care to be delivered in different ways that we will need to evaluate for adoption. Insurance transformation (or lack thereof) is probably an area that can most negatively impact Regional Health. If we want to deliver care in different ways, but reimbursement isn’t available, this will halt our ability to take advantage of these digital advances.




What are your thoughts on the impact of technology on the patient life cycle and healthcare in general? Share them below in the Comments section.


Read additional insights in the full IIC Partners’ industry report, “Impact of Digital Transformation on the Patient Life Cycle,” which includes more interviews with top healthcare executives around the world.


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