In recent years, the healthcare industry has trended to value-based care, an approach that aims to deliver higher quality care more efficiently and with better patient outcomes. This has a meaningful impact on the way patients receive care as well as how providers are paid, leading many providers to evaluate how they operate. Technology, in various forms, is increasingly part of the solution in this move towards value-based care.
Electronic health records (EHRs) hold a tremendous amount of data about patients and is a key part of effective value-based care. Technology also plays an important role in aggregating and utilizing this in a meaningful way, through data analytics. Technologies such as block chain and artificial intelligence are expected to further enhance and optimize how data is used in the move towards value-based care.
Technology continues to make in-roads in actual delivery of care as well, as a potential lower cost solution to augment efforts to keep patient populations healthy. Some of these uses include:
- Remote technology, such as video conferencing, in the provision of care for quicker and more convenient access to providers;
- Remote monitoring of patient health through devices like wearables and mobile phones; and,
- Mobile apps, to educate and coach patients with chronic diseases on medication, lifestyle, diet and other factors.
The third critical element of the value-based care journey is patient engagement. Patient engagement through an improvement in patient experience including quick access to test results via patient portals, appointment reminders through email/text messages, access to providers and more, in addition to utilization of some of the tools mentioned above like wearables and mobile phones are enabled through technology.
Value-based care is still in its early days, and technology is part of this shift. As providers, it is important to think about what your technology strategy will be in order to effectively operate in this new world.