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these tools can help an ACO coordinate care more meaningfully and sustainably.

4. Know your population, manage your risk. Managing risk is a vital element to the fi nancial sustainability of the ACO, and as organizations move toward value- based models, the patient outcome will have direct correlation to the economic health of the organization. It will be important for physicians to be able to stratify their population of patients to know how to prioritize the time and attention of care team resources to drive improved patient outcomes.

5. Engage patients in care. Physicians must understand that it is important to engage patients throughout the care continuum to help streamline care management and improve health outcomes. Patients who are in- volved in decision making about their health are more likely to become active in their healthcare, thus prevent- ing hospitalizations and readmissions downstream. Patient engagement eff orts have become increasingly more important to the fi nancial sustainability and clinical success of physician practices.

Kenneth Bradberry, chief

technology offi cer, healthcare provider solutions, Xerox

Integrity assurance in EMR systems

Assuring the security integrity of any EMR system is non-negotiable. For providers, it means maintaining a mindset toward the absolute security and integrity of the EMR, from design through implementation. When you look at an EMR environment, there are a

variety of areas that, if not designed properly, can create many of the issues we’re trying to avoid. T ese include incorrect fi rewall rules, putting the wrong content manage- ment system in place and other things that could open up security breaches.

And in addition to traditional security issues, there’s also another question that undoubtedly arises: Will my system be available? T ere isn’t a huge diff erence between an intruder accessing the network and denying service, and environmental crashes because of a misconfi gured system; the latter results in a denial of service just as if it came from a security threat. T e key is to incorporate all of these po- tential issues into a level of service that ensures the system is reliable and secure for the entire lifecycle. T e integrity of the system is also critical to a healthcare

provider’s bottom line. If these organizations don’t trust their EMR systems, physicians won’t use them; it’s as simple as that.

www.healthmgttech.com

T at’s why there needs to be a strong focus not only on the integrity of the environment, but also on training and understanding the system. What are at stake are a healthcare provider’s invest- ment and the patient’s quality of care. Without proper controls, you have a system that loses a large percentage of adoption – leading to challenges that are going to af- fect the hospital’s bottom line and its ability to attract top talent.

Roberta Katz, director, healthcare solutions, EMC

Big data: An answer to accountable care As healthcare providers shift to accountable care, broader

networks of caregivers need to share data for patient care diagnosis. T is collaboration necessitates the breakdown of traditional stovepipes, with big-data analytics playing a strategic role in meeting accountable care goals. T ere’s serious opportunity here: McKinsey estimates the annual potential value of big data is $300 billion. Big data can be characterized by four “V’s”:

Variety. EMR plus 100+ additional applications with unstructured and semi-structured data found in PACS, clinical research, doctors’ notes, pathology reports and more.

Volume. Advanced medical imaging is big data. Providers are moving toward perpetual archiving, generating a rich payload of metadata embedded in these images.

• Velocity. Next-generation RFID providing continu- ous tracking to streamline patient fl ow, enable a better patient experience, lower supply inventories and reduce theft.

• Value. Providing fact-based answers to questions ranging from which therapeutic approaches work best, which patients are at highest risk for readmis- sion, to physician performance in relation to quality and cost.

IT must too evolve. Approximately 75 percent of IT budgets are spent supporting legacy systems – just keeping the lights on. Providers are looking to implement more agile, fl exible IT models delivered as a service to lower costs and free time to focus on the real innovation needed to make the transformation to accountable care. At the center of all this is the analysis of data coming from the many sources across the continuum of care required to further improve patient care outcomes, readmissions, population management and business intelligence. Big data is the answer.

HMT HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY July 2013 9

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