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CIO: Healthcare predictive analytics important to population health

Without health IT, healthcare organizations would not be able to effectively manage their patient populations or to transition to value-based care, according to Jon Russell, CIO at John Muir Health in Walnut Creek, Calif.

The key to effective population health management and value-based care, Russell says in this video, is to effectively aggregate health information from disparate systems. To do this, he says, a healthcare organization needs an effective EHR and, on the back end, a way to aggregate all that information into a single source so dashboarding and metrics can be done for clinicians to use.

"As you go to value-based care, you have to be able to manage your population effectively, and the only way that you do that is by having effective analytics and the ability to manage your population through significant business intelligence and appropriate platforms, analytical platforms," Russell says.

He says John Muir Health uses Health Catalyst's analytical platform, which enables the aggregation of significant amounts of information from disparate systems in the healthcare organization's environment, and which also provides dashboarding and helps clinicians make that information actionable daily.

As you go to value-based care, you have to be able to manage your population effectively, and the only way that you do that is by having effective analytics and the ability to manage your population through significant business intelligence and appropriate platforms, analytical platforms.
Jon RussellCIO at John Muir Health

"If we need to provide higher quality at lower cost, the only way you can do that is by having information that is actionable and can drive that lower cost and higher quality," Russell says.

Without analytics, none of this would be possible, he says. "I don't think there's any other way to do it."

Russell added that John Muir Health began using healthcare predictive analytics in 2016 to monitor sepsis. John Muir saw a significant drop in sepsis almost immediately once clinicians began receiving alerts to inform them, for example, that based on a patient's information aggregated from various systems, the patient is potentially headed toward trouble, and that a clinician needs to take immediate action.

"In [the] most mature state [of healthcare predictive analytics], it can be something where you get an alert on your iPhone that says, 'You need to make an adjustment in your lifestyle' -- whatever that means. Maybe your diet, maybe your exercise -- 'otherwise, you're going to have a heart attack in five weeks,'" Russell says. "You could have something that is very intrusive, but also is very effective at making sure you avoid certain consequences because it's predicting that, based on all the information it's gleaning from your health information, and then your activity level and your food intake, etc., that you're going to have a problem."

Although healthcare predictive analytics is still in its beginning stages, Russell believes it will have a significant impact as it matures and as healthcare organizations learn to use predictive analytics effectively.

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