The Future Of Healthcare
By: Robert Spence
The Healthcare industry is on the edge of major changes.
As advances in technology transform the industry, healthcare is now finally catching up with other industries in regards to new forms of technology that could streamline operations, make workflow more efficient, and centralize data in one organized and accessible place.
“We are all immigrants entering a new country and a new age,” said Dr. David Levin, the Chief Medical Information Officer at the Cleveland Clinic at this year’s HealthBeat 2013. “Change is coming as we transition from a volume-based system, where people get paid based on the results, quality of care, efficiency, and how satisfied our patients are.”
The healthcare industry has traditionally operated on outdated IT systems and is typically slow to adapt to new forms of technology. New developments such as the Internet, cloud computing, data analysis and mobile technologies are finding their way to health providers, and Levine wants to “push the limits of excellence in patient experience” by integrating them in an effective way.
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According to Levin, “Change is coming as we transition from a volume-based system to a value-based system, where people get paid based on the results, quality of care, efficiency, and how satisfied our patients are.”
The CMIO identified three major shifts: the 3 P’s. The first is Personalization.
“We are going to see medical practice highly customized for each individual, using real time information and considering individual preferences and tastes,” Levine explains, calling it the zoom-in approach. “The full flower of personalized health will extend beyond the molecular level and be about what who each patient is a person and what they need. In medicine problem of having too much information long ago surpassed that of having too little. We can make use of that knowledge.”
The second “P” is “population-based,” or the “zooming out” to systems designed for large groups of similar patients. By obtaining and analyzing health data, clinicians and researchers can gain greater insight into health patterns. The third “P”, according to Levine is Pervasive. “Everything is connected, everything is ubiquitous.” Levin believes health care will become universal as the world becomes more virtualized.
In regard to mobile health apps, Levine states that “We are at the beginning of the beginning.” He believes the two main reasons for failure are either something technical, “the app simply doesn’t work, or that it does not fit into the workflow and actually impedes job performance.” Most of the apps the Cleveland Clinic has tested and integrated have not worked in a proper way.
Levin’s Cleveland Clinic has a number of projects and initiatives to improve patient experience and make healthcare and health IT more efficient. His organization has created a new clinical systems office that moves from Electronic Medical Records (EMR) to EMR “as a portal” that lays the foundation for a “knowledge management ecosystem,” complete with decision engines and a collaboration platform.