The Real Health IT Prize
As healthcare providers undertake EHR optimization efforts to incrementally improve their current systems (including making them more usable for physicians) – the top focus of hospital IT spending this year, according to a KPMG survey of CHIME members – it is important that we as an industry consider the bigger and better things that are coming. Here are just three of the exciting opportunities already being explored:
- New technologies are starting to emerge that meaningfully support providers’ clinical decision-making. Applied artificial intelligence (AI), for example, is putting the power of “machine learning” at the forefront of care delivery. Think of a healthcare analog to Amazon’s “suggestions” when you make a purchase online – the same concept can be applied to physicians’ orders, where AI can suggest which orders should be considered based on an analysis of treatment patterns in similar patients.
- Adaptable user interfaces have the potential to revolutionize the way providers work. Soon systems will tailor clinical data presentation based on a provider’s specialty, personal preferences and the patient’s situation. Highlighting the most important information will save time and reduce the chance a provider will miss an important result.
- Clinical insights driven by “big data” analytics will contribute to more efficient, actionable and effective healthcare. One of the first targets for this type of effort is sepsis in the hospital environment, which tragically accounts for more than the number of U.S. deaths from prostate cancer, breast cancer and AIDS combined. With a digitized record and the constant vigilance of an inference engine, patients at risk for any number of diseases will be identified more quickly, potentially saving many lives.
Yes, we have to get the health IT basics right, which (gradually) is happening. But we also have to drive toward the real prize: better patient care delivered by clinicians who are empowered by technology to practice more effectively and efficiently than they ever dreamed possible.
This blog post is based on PatientKeeper’s e-book, Healthcare IT 2017-2022: First Comes Change, Then Comes Value.