Value-based care delivery best practices from an expert

Best practices for value-based care include making data a strategic asset, empowering curiosity about data among clinicians and other staff, and looking for small victories.

The transformation of the larger healthcare system into value-based care delivery is strongly dependent on metrics and data that measure and analyze medical outcomes and efficiencies, which in turn will determine reimbursement, particularly for Medicare.

Here are five best practices for value-based care delivery from Tina Foster, vice president of business advisor services at RelayHealth, McKesson Corporation's health IT connectivity consulting unit.

  • Think of data as a strategic asset. "While that may seem like common sense, it's a huge pivot for most organizations involved in value-based care delivery," Foster said. Healthcare organizations should think strategically about acquiring, aggregating, analyzing and accessing data from clinical, payer and billing sources, what RelayHealth calls "the four As."
  • Aim for small victories. Don't always try to build perfect models with comprehensive data sets, Foster said. "Look for small insights, manageable insights, and try something with it," she said. Organizations should encourage curiosity about data among clinicians and other staff.
  • Look at what's happening currently to be able to interact and intervene at the point of care.
    Tina FosterRelayHealth
    Look at data in different ways. For example, organizations should start using predictive modeling and not just restrict themselves to retrospective looks at historical data, Foster advised. "Look at what's happening currently to be able to interact and intervene at the point of care," she said, adding that there's a "tremendous amount of opportunity" in health IT with cognitive computing, machine learning and other fast-developing technologies. However, she cautioned against falling for the latest new, and likely expensive, tool unless there is a genuinely practical application for it.
  • Truly engage physicians. Foster said some of RelayHealth's most successful customers in terms of moving toward value-based care delivery are accountable care organizations, many of which are led by physicians. "At their core, physicians went into medicine to make a difference," she said.
  • Be specific about training and deploying data analysts. Many healthcare organizations have "very loose and ambiguous descriptions of 'analyst,'" Foster said. "The most mature level of analyst is someone who is consultative and serves as a liaison between your clinician and your IT person."

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