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Technologies behind value-based care

Steve Stanic, vice president and CIO at Mississippi Baptist Health System, explains what technology is needed to make value-based healthcare happen.

In part two of this Ask the Expert series, Steve Stanic, vice president and CIO at Mississippi Baptist Health System, discusses the technologies involved in value-based care as well as the technological challenges that healthcare CIOs face. Find part one here.

Can you discuss the technologies that are involved with value-based care?

Steve Stanic: First and foremost you have to have a data warehouse that everything folds up into and the data warehouse allows you to … normalize the data across the organization. So everything's in one place. On top of that you need what I'm going to call a data modeling visualization tool, and what that does is it enables you to do things like scorecards. For instance, we want to make sure that we're in the 75th percentile as we benchmark ourselves, so the ability to develop scorecards that are very visible to the organization [is important]. Those are the two key technologies that I think organizations need to have in place.

On the foundation level, kind of the lower layer, what I'm going to call the source system, it really helps if that system is integrated so there's one single database where all the patient data, both financial and clinical, is in. That helps. But that to me is kind of the foundation. The warehouse, the scorecard-type software, the visualization software that I'm talking about, that's key.

What are the related technology challenges?

Steve StanicSteve Stanic

Stanic: I think probably the biggest [challenge] is the number of source systems. If you're going to extract information from multiple EMRs, multiple lab systems, that presents a challenge. Cost is a challenge, the tools are not cheap. It's forcing us to really go into areas that are costly right now. And then the other thing is that … because there is no national patient identifier, you have to have tools in place that say, "OK, we've got Steve Stanic and we've pulled his information from four different systems. Are we sure this is the right Steve Stanic?" You have to have this software in place to make sure you're choosing the right one. So there's a whole level of making sure that you have the right patient and that you're associating the correct clinical data.

If there was a national patient identifier, that would be a moot point. It would be nice if there was a way to attach, "Here's Stanic's national health number," and if that's attached to every report, every piece of information, it makes it a whole hell of a lot easier to collect.

Let us know what you think about the value-based care story; email Kristen Lee, news writer, or find her on Twitter @Kristen_Lee_34.

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