Speaking at Miami University’s Greentree Health Science Academy

I am looking forward to speaking with the students at Miami University’s Greentree Health Science Academy in Middletown OH this evening about “A Practical Approach to Healthcare Information technology: The Paradigm Shift in Healthcare”. This will include my experience with a recent case study that I jointly presented recently at our CSO HIMSS conference in Spring with UC Health. Victor Simha from The Christ Hospital will be there to support the efforts to share our experiences with students of their HIT program. Now that’s collaboration!

Check out the location at http://www.regionals.miamioh.edu/greentree/

Change and the Agile framework

Change is constant. In talking with my friend and colleague, Seth Thomas, we got to talking about the Agile methodology’s place with healthcare providers. Seth opined that using Agile will allow you to adapt to change more quickly, with more precision and with better output.

What is needed to change the current way things happen in Healthcare? Buy in from the stakeholders at the outset. That’s where the challenges will originate. In order to garner efficiencies, healthcare provider operations organizations will need to further grow with their understanding that technology has become an integral part of their lives and that information technology is the essential tool for them to carry out functional tasks. They will be able to do more with less and especially since most people must be going through EMR implementation and regulatory fatigue right about now with vast amounts of capital from a well that may now have dried somewhat. “Let’s get the budget from the EMR project” is an all too familiar phrase that most CIOs and IT Directors don’t want to hear anymore. Using an agile framework, from what I know about it, will be one way in which reduce frustration from potential rework and increase stakeholder satisfaction.

Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative

One on the ways in which the healthcare paradigm changed was when CMS Announced the practices for the Beacon Communities  for the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative (CPCI) in August of last year. A document from CMS says that “CPC is a 4 year multi-payer initiative fostering collaboration between public and private health care payers to strengthen primary care.”

In order to support  a more effective and affordable quality of health care, approximately five hundred and two primary care practices in seven regions had been selected to participate in a new collaborative model. My home town of Cincinnati is one of seven regions that has been selected to participate in this new partnership between payers from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), primary care providers, health plans, state Medicaid agencies and businesses that were self-insured. The other regions were statewide in Arkansas, Colorado, New Jersey and Oregon, in the capital District and Hudson Valley region of New York and in the greater Tulsa region of Oklahoma.

In the CPCI Fact sheet it indicates that CMS will work with private and public payers and offer bonus payments to primary care doctors who are able to better coordinate care for their patients. Practices that participate in this initiative will be given resources to better coordinate primary care for their Medicare patients. These resources will assist physicians to work with their patients so that they can i) manage care for patients with high health care needs ii) ensure access to care because healthcare needs and emergencies are not restricted to office operating hours iii) be able to deliver preventive care so that they can proactively assess their patients to determine their needs and provide the appropriate and timely preventive care iv) engage patients and caregivers so that PCPs have the ability to also engage their patient’s families in active participation in their care and v) coordinate care across the medical neighborhood as the PCP is the first point of contact for many patients and takes the lead in coordinating care as the center of the patient’s experience with medical care by collaborating with other care providers that deliver medical care to the patient as a team. In addition, “CPC Clinical Quality Measures (CQM) population is CPC practice site based and should include all patients (not just Medicare patients) who have had at least one or more visits at the CPC practice site location during the “Measurement Year” and who meet the denominator inclusion criteria for the CQM.”

Needless to say, that collaborative and meaningful access to EHR’s is an important highlight in this process and should be seen as the basis for long lasting quality of care.