Providers face challenges with tech essential for value-based care

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Patient engagement, data aggregation and analytics, and precision medicine are critical for value-based care, but limited resources and lack of reimbursement pose significant barriers to the adoption of these technologies.

That’s the finding of the third annual Top of Mind for Top Health Systems survey from the Center for Connected Medicine, which is jointly operated by GE Healthcare, Nokia and UPMC.

The survey of 70 leaders at 65 health systems nationwide, nearly half of which were chief information officers, was conducted by health IT research and consulting firm KLAS.

According the survey’s results, only 17 percent of surveyed healthcare organizations report a high level of patient participation with engagement tools. While patients’ age and socioeconomic status were identified by respondents as the biggest barrier to the adoption of patient engagement technology, reimbursements were the second most commonly reported barrier—with telemedicine called out as an area in which payer buy-in is lacking.

In addition, nearly half of respondents cited the most common barriers to data aggregation as limited resources and funding, poor data normalization, as well as lack of standards. “Health IT vendors are viewed as the most common source for data aggregation roadblocks,” states the report. “Some vendors are unwilling to facilitate data sharing, and even minor differences in data formatting and naming conventions can make it impossible to aggregate and compare patient data.”

When it comes to precision medicine, almost 70 percent of respondents reported low maturity or no deployment of such capabilities—with reimbursement and earning a return on investment cited as the biggest hurdles to adoption.

“We know from our prior research, based on extensive interviews with health system leaders across the country, that data aggregation, patient engagement and precision medicine are high current and future priorities for health systems today,” says Adam Gale, president of KLAS.

“As an industry, we have been making good progress in these areas,” Gale adds. “It will be key for the industry to find ways to continue to innovate in these areas as well as find the right ways to fund these efforts through value-based care as we continue to shift.”

The Top of Mind for Top Health Systems report can be downloaded here.

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