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Early steps to value-based healthcare

The VP and CIO at Mississippi Baptist Health System, gives pointers on how healthcare organizations can work to make value-based healthcare a reality.

In part one of this Ask the Expert series, Steve Stanic, vice president and CIO at Mississippi Baptist Health System with 24 years of experience in healthcare IT leadership roles, gives pointers on how healthcare organizations can work to make value-based care a reality. Stanic also discusses how healthcare CIOs can cultivate a culture within their organization that would support value-based care. Part two can be found here.

What advice do you have for healthcare organizations trying to get to value-based care? What steps would you advise they take?

Steve Stanic: First and foremost you have to have the tools in place that measure those metrics on a daily basis … [and make them] available in a visual view to the caregivers on a real-time basis at the point of care. I think that's where a lot of organizations fall off. For instance, for central line infections, well we know how we did on that a month ago, and the whole key is to be able to know how you're doing on that now… That's the key starting point. The second part of that, [which] has really nothing to do with IT, is you need to make sure you have kind of a culture where you're consistently trying to improve. You have to have a culture of consistent quality improvement that's ongoing, you're always looking for an opportunity to improve. IT certainly enables that by providing the tools, [but] you can't fix what you can't measure so you have to make sure you're measuring things on a daily basis.

How would you suggest healthcare CIOs cultivate a culture that supports value-based care?

Steve StanicSteve Stanic

Stanic: One, make sure the tools are in place that are collecting the data because you take that data and you turn it into useful information, so we need to make sure that we're capturing everything that we need to capture from the data collection standpoint. The second part of the healthcare CIO's role, I believe, is to make sure that we have the tools in place to measure and show folks on a daily basis where they are -- so having things like a robust data warehouse. On top of that data warehouse you'll want some data modeling tools [and] you have kind of a scorecard-based deal so you know: "How am I doing today? How are we doing right now?" That's key. So it's really taking the data and making it useful to the user and kind of enabling it in a fashion that folks can look at it constantly and be driven by, "Oh boy, I see we're not doing so well here. What do we need to do?"

We have a performance improvement group here [Mississippi Baptist Health System] that will have 20, 30 projects going on at any given time just constantly trying to always look for opportunities to improve. They use the data that we have and say, "This is where we need to focus," and that's big with value-based care because you don't want to focus on things that won't benefit the organization from a reimbursement or overall quality standpoint. [CIOs play] kind of a support role. We make sure that the tools that folks are using to collect data and measure it and then visually look at are standard organization-wide. In the past, surgery would've had their own little spreadsheet that they would say, "This is how we're doing," and the lab would have their own little spreadsheet, and then critical care would have their own little spreadsheet. Well that's great, but it leaves it open to interpretation: One, are they all using a standard data source and two, visually are the numbers the same? I can tell you at Baptist everybody kind of sings out of the same hymn book, so to speak, and that's important.

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