Healthcare’s Disruptive Transition - Part 3

Recently, Quest Diagnostics (a laboratory services company) and Inovalon (a cloud-based storage company) sponsored a survey of 302 primary care physicians (PCP) and 150 health plan executives (HPE).

We could say the findings surprised us however, we cannot.

Some of the key points that we noticed were:

Nearly 70% of the physicians surveyed noted that they were “willing to spend more time using technology if their EHRs could yield insight unique to their patients.” This key area has driven our search for more connected information. Today, EHRs can provide the caregiver a great deal of informative documentation that they or their staff input into the system. The EHR Is also able to provide novel ways to look at their data and utilize it to track the overall practice measurements. That is all great and wonderful however, why can’t the EHR give them intuitive information they don’t yet have for their patients?

The general variety of ambulatory EHRs on the market are unimpressive. The reason is that nearly all are nothing more than a large relational database being used as a data repository. The EHR collects data, prompts the user if a required input is skipped and yes, allows manipulation of the data, with reasonable flexibility. Yet, does it provide even one piece of data outside of the patient’s own record? In nearly all cases, the answer is a resounding, NO. That is because EHR’s were not designed to reach outside of their own “four walls.” We think we have done something that can and will change that dynamic.

Accordingly, the same “70%” of those PCPs said that “EHRs have not demonstrated a link to patient’s better outcomes.” Really? As a nation, we have invested well over $100 billion (USD), and 70% of those front-line providers don’t see it improving care. As the Health Information System (HIS) industry, we should be embarrassed.

The final point on this survey was that a staggering “85%” of the respondents from health plans said that “a co-investment in HIT would accelerate value-based care adoption.” Further, the HPE also acknowledged that “health plans would experience greater benefit from implementation of information technology, such as EHR, than providers.” In layman’s terms, this means that a staggering majority of health plan executives believe that the cost benefit favors health plan investing in a provider’s ability to track and report patient information. We have always wondered why health plans would not totally subsidize a provider’s needs. We think the value could be as much as ten times the investment. With a little bit of new data, we are confident the providers would be better able to provide higher quality, at a lower cost.

When we designed PWeR® it was with these basic principles in place. “One Patient…Total Connectivity”™ was not just our catchphrase, but a guiding principle. More on health plan modernization to follow in our next blog.

– Noel J. Guillama, President