Successfully delivering an anticipatory model of care will require providers to use the wealth of information they have about patients’ health patterns to its fullest potential. To do this, they need the right information technology platform. This will involve new ways of collecting and using information, different methods for billing and costing and new approaches to record management.
There are typically three stages through which technology and better use of data can support coordinated care: capturing, aggregating and using.
In a coordinated model of care, the data that has been acquired by one organization can be used by another without the cost of acquiring it again. This not only saves organizations time and money, it can dramatically improve the efficiency and quality of care that patients experience, as they do not have to tell their story over and over again or undergo additional testing. However, for this data to be most effective, the technology platform must allow it to be quickly accessible.
There are a number of activities in each of these three stages that an information system must deliver in a coordinated model of care.
For example, to obtain the right information and to get the most out of their relationship with patients and the public, it is essential to develop a single patient portal where patients can interact with their healthcare provider (or insurer) in an individualized way. In other industries, most notably retail and distribution, customer portals provide a central means by which individuals and organizations learn about each other’s preferences and personal needs. The same approach can easily be applied to a person’s health insurance portal.
There is a strong incentive for healthcare organizations to use that portal for more and more functions: the more a person uses the portal, the more the organization knows about that individual and his or her lifestyle and wellness patterns.
Most health systems are just beginning their journey to build a technology infrastructure that fully supports coordinated care. Some of the early challenges to address include: