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Overcoming the obstacles to meet accountable care goals

by Randy Pelikan
Like many hospital leaders, you probably have your hands full working to achieve accountable care—an increasingly prevalent model in today’s healthcare environment.

A big part of accountable care is making the correct patient data available when and where it is needed. This enables you to reduce costs and potential hazards associated with redundant care or care that conflicts with previous or other current treatment plans.

However, delivering truly accountable care, and reaping the rewards through better HCAHPS scores and higher reimbursements may be easier said than done:

Delivering truly accountable care, and reaping the rewards through better HCAHPS scores and higher reimbursements may be easier said than done.

The 3 major challenges of accountable care

1. Getting all of the information needed to properly and efficiently treat a patient. This can be difficult. With organizations relying on differing workflow solutions and various technologies, it’s no wonder that it can be challenging to think about how to get these disparate systems to communicate.

2. Overall lack of consolidated data within institutions and healthcare as a whole.
This challenge is one that likely results from the first. In many cases, the information needed to support a patient within any given facility emanates from many different systems, and certain elements of the clinical workflow are output on paper. The process of capturing and entering that data can directly impact the caregiver’s time, as well as their understanding of the patient’s needs.

3. The speed at which institutions must change to keep up with healthcare’s shift from volume-based care models to value-based models. While most organizations certainly can identify their specific challenges and drive toward improved workflow, their ability to assign resources and to make those improvements in a timely manner often presents a major hurdle. The issue is likely not their ability to overcome their challenges—but rather the capacity to do so.

The good news is healthcare organizations can turn these challenges into opportunities. Take a proactive approach with the following steps:
1. First, conduct a complete evaluation of all of a facility’s business, administrative and clinical workflows. This includes how surgical schedules are managed, how patients are registered at admission, and how data is collected at each point in the care process.

2. Leverage technologies that can capture all types of data—structured or unstructured—from multiple systems, and deliver it seamlessly, securely and efficiently at the time and place that it is required.

3. Partner with an organization that can step-up to quickly and accurately analyze your organization’s unique challenges, and then hone in on the most appropriate solutions.

Turn the challenges of accountable care into opportunities.

Healthcare information technology must address meaningful use and accountable care requirements. Take a more proactive approach to achieve your accountable care goals.
Don’t be intimidated by the changing healthcare landscape. Instead, take the time to evaluate your systems and processes as they stand today with a future-facing lens in order to deliver truly accountable care that benefits your organization, and most importantly, your patients.
Randy Pelikan
Randy Pelikan, Senior Manager of Design for Ricoh USA, Inc.’s Healthcare vertical, partners with workflow specialists to drive software and consulting engagements focused on maximizing the value and application of information for administrative and clinical workflows. With a background ranging from outsourcing to network convergence and enterprise software, Pelikan has helped organizations make their data more accessible, secure, and actionable for more than 22 years.