Oct. 30, 2019
Healthcare is rapidly changing, with technology platforms a key part of the exciting evolution underway. Here is how advanced technology may continue to power a new and improved health-care system.
The locus of care is shifting from the hospital or clinic to patients themselves, wherever their smartphone takes them, Ashwini M. Zenooz and John Fox write in Harvard Business Review.
A Better View Into Each Patient’s Needs
Health systems have begun to partner with a variety of CRM platforms that have developed workflows and capabilities to meet the unique challenges of patient engagement and enable system-wide care traffic control, according to Zenooz and Fox. They point to Piedmont Healthcare as an example. This health system, serving more than two million people across Georgia, partnered with Salesforce to help them deliver, engage and personalize care at scale. Bringing together data from partner apps and services, the platform gives the organization a shared view of the patient — including medical history, insurance, scheduled appointments, preferences — all in one place.
Managing an Abundance of Data
Zenooz and Fox note an International Data Corporation report predicting a 36 percent growth rate for health-care data over the next five years, faster than in any other industry. With every month that passes, new smart medical devices appear and more app-using patients begin to monitor their health, expecting the resulting data to be sent to their doctors and EHRs, they write. Early in 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services responded with a proposed rule calling on the healthcare industry to take steps to give patients “safe, secure access to, and control over, their healthcare data.”
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With no certification process in place for medical apps, Zenooz and Fox highlight two resulting questions: How are newly empowered patients to choose which are trustworthy and effective? And what criteria are providers to use for prescribing apps or accepting and validating the data coming from them?
“It’s hard to distinguish apps with therapeutic benefit from those that are just marketing hype. Along with questions of validation come equally important questions of usability,” Zenooz and Fox write. “For the data from a validated app or device to be usable, rules need to be written to separate a signal from the noise — for example, what heart rate patterns from a remotely monitored CHF patient get ignored and which trigger an alert to the EHR. Much more work is needed to wrestle with these thorny issues in order to effectively translate clinical skills into digital care delivery.”