Regardless of Meaningful Use, Your Hospital Needs Connected Care

by Ron Nielson

Healthcare CIOs need to make connected care a top priority.

Earlier this month, Andy Slavitt, acting administrator of CMS, told a gathering of healthcare leaders at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco that Meaningful Use (MU) will soon be “replaced with something better.”

“As any physician will tell you, physician burden and frustration levels are real,” Slavitt told his audience, as quoted by HealthLeaders.1 “The Meaningful Use program as it has existed will now be effectively over and replaced with something better.”

“The Meaningful Use program as it has existed will now be effectively over and replaced with something better.”

​Andy Slavitt ​Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

What Slavitt’s “something better” turns out to be remains to be seen; the article gave some indication that it could resemble the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). MACRA aims to advance the concept of value-based reimbursement through a merit-based system that measures physicians on four parameters: quality, cost, use of technology and practice improvement.

Regardless of what happens, healthcare CIOs still need to make “connected care” a top priority in order to achieve maximum performance in a world of value-based care and reimbursement.

Information mobility — the ability of your facility to effectively capture, transform and manage information across departments — will be a key driver of your organization’s success moving forward. A recent IDC Health Insights study showed that 71 percent of those surveyed believe information mobility technologies and practices have positively impacted business process workflow. Moreover, 67 percent stated that information mobility technologies and practices have also positively impacted revenue.

Here are some strategies you can implement to stay connected as we anticipate the changes to come:

  • Assess where your information comes from, where it goes and how well it travels across your current infrastructure. Look for ‘traffic jams’ and other obstacles to information flow. This will reveal opportunities to integrate your systems for better capturing, managing and transforming of data for improved patient care.
  • Prepare your organization for the long-term. When making technology upgrades or purchases, evaluate each solution’s capability to support organizational goals well into the future. This includes being able to work seamlessly with other technologies.
  • Partner with organizations that can help you achieve your information-mobility goals. The right ones can go a long way toward streamlining the process of setting your organization up for long-term clinical and business success.
Meaningful Use and other government programs may come and go, but outcomes-based care models are here to stay.

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1 Source: "Meaningful Use Program 'Effectively Over,' Says CMS Head." January 13, 2016.