Let's Talk !
Technology’s synergy with healthcare continues due to significant congressional investment in electronic health systems and digitally-based resources designed to streamline medical access, optimize healthcare analytics, mitigate chronic diseases, and improve the patient care experience.
However, issues with system interoperability and seamless patient data exchange persist. Software providers play a crucial role in enhancing population health management and its ultimate goal of streamlining healthcare data while providing each patient with positive, outcome-based experiences and increasing patient engagement.
Table of Contents
Population health management (PHM) intends to improve the health of all served communities with a focus on health patterns, patient outcomes, policy creation, and proactive patient intervention. Software innovations have enabled the healthcare industry to collect and analyze unprecedented patient data, often called ‘big data,’ to make more accurate and informed proactive decisions.
PHM is not a new concept, but its scope has gradually changed to include reductions in emergency room visits, proactively identifying high-risk patients for chronic diseases, and a shift toward outcome-based results emphasizing successful treatment and patient satisfaction.
Chronic disease treatment remains one of the most significant expenses the healthcare industry struggles with. Increases in hospitalizations have severely taxed the industry but what if there was a way to leverage data in innovative ways to mitigate expenses associated with treating chronic diseases?
AI data analytics may offer healthcare an invaluable resource for proactively identifying and monitoring patient diseases, enabling them to determine which patient is a higher risk for the future onset of chronic disease.
Researchers utilizing AI algorithms identified patterns in patient data to successfully predict the disease’s path within a patient, enabling healthcare providers to inform patients and proactively begin treatment. Software innovations allow the healthcare industry to access and analyze data with predictive algorithms as an invaluable resource for the industry to work to reduce expenses, provide positive, outcome-based treatments, and gain a unique insight into how to identify the chronic disease and mitigate its impacts before a patient’s quality of life deteriorates.
Healthcare providers study big data analytics to identify community health trends, and by utilizing Health Information Exchange (HIE) software features, data collection, aggregation, and dissemination of pertinent information is streamlined. The data and records exchange between multiple clinical data systems enables confidential access and efficient sharing of patient medical history and treatment plans with other providers, regardless of which office a patient receives care from. HIE’s additional benefits include:
Reduction or elimination of traditional, paper-based record-keeping
Facilitates timely communication between healthcare providers, no matter the setting
Improves monitoring of community health
Reduction of unnecessary tests. Traditional healthcare record-keeping and communication limitations could result in duplication of medical services.
Effective HIE software is designed to streamline healthcare workflow by reducing the required steps to access patient information from multiple providers via a centralized data source.
Enhanced HIE software enables expedient hospital readmissions because patient intake data is already stored within a centralized data source, eliminating time-consuming manual data entry.
Interoperability is paramount for a successful HIE to streamline PHM. Interoperability is simply efficient access and exchange of medical information between multiple health management entities. There are four levels of interoperability within healthcare:
Foundational. Healthcare personnel analyzes received data from different software systems.
Structural. The format or structure of all medical information, such as syntax.
Semantic. Code vocabulary of data sets.
Organizational. Governance, legal policy, and social adherence are required to enable the safe dissemination of medical data between consenting organizations.
HIE software solutions adhere to IHE, HL7, CDA, CCD, RDA, DICOM, and NwHIN healthcare technology regulatory standards. Health Level 7 (HL7) continues to be the standard for medical data communication because:
Uniform data compatibility. Different software developers use other data formats but implementing HL7 standards enables data cross-functionality and more efficient data sharing of patient information; admission, diagnosis, treatment, and medical billing.
Expedite medical decision processes. Medical providers must decide quickly, especially during emergencies. Medical providers must make informed decisions promptly, and seamless access to patient data and records expedites this process. Integration of HL7 data mitigates delays in accessing pertinent data from different systems.
Facilitate seamless data exchange with external systems. Sharing information between healthcare providers and researchers is paramount when disseminating critical, private patient data. Still, the creation of HIPAA-compliant application integration through web-based APIs is achieved with JSON and XML mobile applications.
The global pandemic gave way to the increased use of telehealth, as many patients were left without in-person access to critical medical services. Telehealth, or telemedicine, allows healthcare providers to offer medical care and evaluations via telecommunications rather than in-person visits. The significant increase in telehealth patients provided the following advantages during and after the pandemic:
Virtual care visits reduced wait times for appointments
Reduced physical contact during the pandemic’s height
Patients had more healthcare options by having more convenient access to different providers
Population health management looks to promote and increase patient engagement. Telehealth live video streaming utilizing HIPAA-compliant video conferencing software facilitated virtual office platforms, and seamless integrations of interoperable electronic health records (EHR) enabled more streamlined health provider experiences.
Population health management initiatives seek to amplify patient experiences by facilitating increased patient engagement. Healthcare industry advocates state telehealth breaks down barriers such as having patients interact within their chosen environment and having healthcare access and appointment options that exceed the limitations of traditional, in-office appointments. Connected technology plays an undeniably critical role in telehealth. With population health management initiatives focusing on outcome-based, patient-focused results, software developers also play a crucial role in population health management because successful telehealth programs rely on seamless HL7 integration, optimized EHR software, and HIPAA-compliant data sharing.
Aided by the efforts of expert developers, software companies can offer the healthcare industry invaluable resources that would further broaden the scope of population health management and provide data-driven evidence to further assist healthcare providers in working closer toward fully streamlining patient data access to ultimately facilitate positive patient outcomes.
Effective population health management requires an optimized HIE and leveraging data-driven analysis to enable the healthcare industry to bring population health management’s ambitious goals to fruition.
Chetu does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of a specific software, company or individual does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.
Founded in 2000, Chetu is a global provider of custom software development solutions and support services. Chetu's specialized technology and industry experts serve startups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies with an unparalleled software delivery model suited to the needs of the client. Chetu's one-stop-shop model spans the entire software technology spectrum. Headquartered in Plantation, Florida, Chetu has fourteen locations throughout the U.S. and abroad.