A new report from research firm IDC Health Insights examines the information technology needs of accountable care organizations beyond an electronic health records system.
Many organizations believed an EHR was the only application needed to participate in accountable care organizations but have learned that multiple tools are necessary. In addition to the EHR, other foundational applications include CPOE, admission/discharge/transfer, billing, practice management, enrollment and care management systems.
And there are more I.T. needs, according to the report. Health information exchange technology is required to harmonize and normalize data from disparate systems, such as EMRs, claims, laboratory and pharmacy, and present that assimilated data on demand within various interrelated applications. Also, analytics will play a role for performance measurement and patient identification and stratification; new data driven workflows will manage tasks, create care plans and schedule appointments and reminders; and patient engagement tools will move beyond portals to texting and additional channels.
IDC Health Insights also foresees what it calls a 3rd Platform that includes cloud, data/analytics, social media and mobile technologies that will fuel next-generation accountable care. Organizations are just beginning to look at social media data as a way to determine patient satisfaction as well as detect public health outbreaks, according to the research firm. Patients with similar conditions are creating chat rooms where they can discuss treatments, side effects and outcomes. Health care organizations are in the research stage of determining how social media can be used in personalized care planning.
The complete IDC Health report, sponsored by ACO services vendor Lumeris, is available here.
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