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GE Healthcare Camden Group Insights Blog

Video Overview: The State of Consumer Healthcare

Posted by Matthew Smith on May 10, 2016 1:08:56 PM

An alarming 81 percent of consumers are dissatisfied with their healthcare experience. And the more they interact with it, the less they like it.

The same revolution of consumerism that’s shaking up the way the world buys financial services, airline tickets and groceries is finally underway in healthcare, too. The consumer is in control.

GE Healthcare Camden Group and Prophet have joined forces to assess the current state of patient experience and chart a path forward.

Watch this short animated video to learn about the findings from our study titled, “The State of Consumer Healthcare: A Study of Patient Experience,” and preview our framework and the four primary archetypes that emerged.

To visit our Patient Experience Microsite, click here

To download or stream our Patient Experience webinar, click here

To learn more about how Prophet and GE Healthcare Camden Group can help improve your organization's patient experience, email healthcare@prophet.com.

 

Topics: Video, Patient Experience, Prophet, Patient Experience Study, Healthcare Consumerism

Ignoring Social Media Trends May Be Harmful for Hospitals

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jul 10, 2013 3:33:00 PM

Social Media, Hospitals, Physician Practices

A new report from Hewlett-Packard Social Media Solutions claims hospitals put both their patients and reputations at risk by ignoring social media.

Risks of Procrastination

For all the positive benefits of social media, mitigating risk is perhaps the most compelling reason for healthcare organizations of all sizes to develop and implement a “social enterprise” strategy now, rather than later. Procrastination or “ignoring” social media brings its own risks, including:

  • Risk to patients – Hospitals and other providers can help to reduce the potential for harm from misleading or wrong health information transmitted through social media by providing reliable information and/or educating patients and helping to guide them to reputable sites.
  • Risks to reputation –By not monitoring social networks, providers are less likely to be aware of threats to their reputation in the virtual public sphere. Without an established social media presence, they are in a weak position to counter with relevant facts. In addition, patients increasingly look at which providers share information and are more transparent about their performance. Consumer Reports, which has emerged as a trusted source on hospital performance advises patients to “look for hospital ratings that include safety and error rates. If hospitals don’t report such information, patients should consider going elsewhere.”
  • Liability /HIPAA– Without explicit social media policies, training, and governance, hospitals and other providers risk liability and violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Staff posting inappropriate information about patients—or doctors commenting on public forums—can be seen to compromise patient privacy or with offering medical advice—present serious liability and regulatory issues. Doctors and nurses have been fired for their poor judgment in posting comments or images where patients could be identified and their privacy was compromised.

Meet Patients Where They Search for Information

The white paper states that it is a hospital’s responsibility to meet patients where they are searching for health information—online—and provide patient education materials that are accurate and easy to understand:

“Hospitals and other providers can help to reduce the potential for harm from misleading or wrong health information transmitted through social media by providing reliable information and/or educating patients and helping to guide them to reputable sites.”

Not only does social media activity afford hospitals an opportunity to increase health literacy, but also positions them as experts in their specialized fields.

More people are using the Internet to research health information and read about the medical experiences of others (Pew 2013). Hospitals need to be on social media to know what their patients are saying about them—both positive and negative. Part of a good hospital marketing and public relations strategy is knowing and addressing what patients are saying about your healthcare system. Social media gives you an outlet into both.

The HP report shows that social media communities are an ideal way for hospitals to educate patients, increase their market reach and improve their reputation.

To view the white paper from HP, "Social Media in Healthcare," click here.

Other studies support the fact that social media use among hospitals and physician practices is on the rise. In a survey released by DocStyles, researchers examined five groups of physicians and their use of social media and other Internet-based communication technologies. Based on respondents’ reported technology use over six months:

  • 80.6% used a portable device to access the internet;
  • 59.1% used social networking sites; and
  • 12.9% wrote a blog post.

While some physicians remain hesitant on adopting the use of social media, these communication tools have the potential to update the health industry’s approach to patient care, data sharing and medical exploration.

Rising Use of Social & Mobile Media in Healthcare

And in this infographic, shown below and created by Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group, key infographic takeaways for providers, medical practice administrators, and hospital marketers showed that:

  • 41% of patients say that social media would affect their choice of a specific doctor, hospital, or medical facility
  • 26% if all U.S. hospitals participate in social media
  • 60% of providers say that social media improves the quality of care delivered to patients
Social media, marketing plan

Topics: Video, twitter, facebook, youtube, Social media

Hospitals & Physicians Join Forces to Achieve Clinical Integration

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jan 9, 2013 3:42:00 PM
By Patricia O’Connor, MD; Lucy Zielinski & Tina Wardrop, Health Directions. Originally published in Executive Insight, December 2012

Clinical IntegrationNew payment models are making it more important than ever for hospitals to collaborate with physicians. From readmission penalties to bundled payments to ACOs, providers have a growing economic incentive to pool resources, share information, coordinate care and services and cooperate on quality improvement. 

But while the incentives are strong, the obstacles to clinical integration are daunting. Hospital-physician collaboration is operationally complex. Although physician employment can smooth out some of the bumps, practice acquisition is expensive. While a handful of large health systems have devoted extensive resources to launching clinical integration initiatives, most smaller organizations are still sorting out their options.

How can hospitals integrate with physicians without creating political and financial problems? The solution is to focus on building mutually beneficial relationships and use existing resources wisely.

The following practical approach will help healthcare leaders achieve clinical integration by engaging physicians, strategizing collaborative programs and making targeted investments.

1. Understand Physician Motivation

Convincing physicians to collaborate more closely with a hospital can be challenging. Physicians are trained as autonomous decision makers. Perfectionism and the need for control can make it difficult to weave physicians into an integrated organization. But there is a positive side to the medical personality: No doctor wants to be an outlier.

Engage physicians by presenting data on their patient outcomes. Most physicians will discover at least a few areas in which their performance falls short of their peers.

Talk to doctors about their patients’ flu vaccination rates, medication reconciliation rates, performance on diabetes control measures, etc. This is easiest for hospitals that have access to physician claims data through a physician-hospital organization (PHO) or that offer physicians a subsidized electronic medical record (EMR) with built-in Clinical Quality Measure (CQM) templates that facilitate reporting.

Most physicians do not track and evaluate their own performance, let alone measure their performance against peers. Relevant patient statistics will earn physicians’ attention and generate interest in working more closely with hospital staff to improve outcomes.

It is also important to educate physicians on the evolving healthcare market. Explain how payers are creating incentives for clinical integration though bundled or global payments and per patient/per month care coordination fees. As physicians become more aware of these payment trends, many will embrace the opportunity to increase their salary by partnering with the hospital.

2. Create True Physician Governance

To gain the most under new payment models, physicians and hospitals have to play nice in the sandbox. The key is establishing a governance body that allows physicians to guide the development of care strategies and clinical protocols. Physician-led governance will create physician awareness and support for clinical integration initiatives and make a positive impact on the overall success of the program. Make sure the clinical integration governance committee includes physicians from solo practices and small partnerships as well as large groups. Include representatives from a range of specialties.

Most important, the governance body should include physicians who are critical or even negative about the clinical integration initiative. Often these “difficult” physicians simply want to be heard and provide their input. Making these physicians feel included will go a long way toward smoothing the transition to integration.

3. Focus on Quality, Not Finances

Physicians are concerned about productivity and payment, but concentrating exclusively on financial metrics will disenchant many providers. Focus instead on clinical quality and performance improvement. After all, this is the main reason physicians entered medicine — to provide quality care to the patients they serve.

The clinical integration committee should establish quality benchmarks and treatment protocols that define performance standards. Benchmarks can be based on evidence-based standards and care plans developed by national quality organizations and disease associations. Micromanaging clinical decisions will be unpopular, so care protocols should be broad guidelines that allow room for individual judgment.

To choose initial improvement goals, review admission and inpatient reports to identify areas of low quality and high cost. For which conditions does the hospital see the greatest number of admissions? Which conditions have the longest length of stay? Physicians using an EMR may be able to report on certain quality measures. For example, what is the percentage of hypertensive patients with adequate blood pressure control? How many heart disease patients have an up-to-date lipid profile?

Begin the clinical integration outreach with physicians in specialties linked to poorer outcomes and higher costs. Another logical starting point is primary care. Family practice physicians and internists often have the greatest impact on chronic disease management.

4. Concentrate on Care Coordination

One of the biggest opportunities in clinical integration is better coordination of care. Focus on high- and medium-risk patients who are responsible for the highest costs or who will likely increase costs in the near future. Target care transitions between the hospital and admitting specialists or primary care physicians. Involve physical therapy, home health providers and long-term care facilities in clinical coordination planning.

Physicians need to ensure that discharged patients complete follow-up visits. The hospital can assist by sponsoring a care coordination team for the entire organization to help manage follow-up appointments, referrals and home health services. To help guide care coordination, stratify hospital discharges by risk of readmission, complication or care plan non-compliance.

5. Use Technology to Get Providers Talking

Clinical integration is nearly impossible without an EMR system, but many medical practices are not far along in EMR adoption. Most practices cite expense as the main obstacle.

To overcome the cost hurdle, consider subsidizing EMR systems for practices that agree to join the integrated organization. Relaxation of the Stark laws allows hospitals to subsidize as much as 85 percent of the purchase and support costs of an EMR system. Subsidy agreements can require physicians to report quality measures and meet quality performance thresholds.

However, do not expect physicians to acquire the same EMR system as the hospital. Many small practices can do very well with free and low-cost alternative systems. The hospital should build interfaces for exchanging information with the EMR systems used by the majority of integrated physicians.

Many physicians who have implemented EMRs have participated in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. As part of demonstrating Meaningful Use under the program, these physicians have already begun tracking clinical quality measures. Clinically integrated organizations should use the EMR to create aggregated quality reports and share them with physicians. Weekly or monthly reports can track disease management data such as HbA1c levels, cholesterol, blood pressure and preventive screenings. Giving physicians the chance to view quality performance metrics will engage both their competitive personalities and their collaborative spirit.

6. Build Financial Incentives

Clinical integration will require physicians to invest time and money into patient education, technology and additional staff. The problem is that methods of compensating providers for care coordination are still being developed and tested by payers. Given the costs being shouldered by physicians, financial incentives are critical.

Regardless of how incentives are distributed, hospital leaders should reward physicians either for controlling costs, achieving quality benchmarks or both. Focus on achieving care management quality metrics early on, since reduced costs tend to follow well-managed patients. Establish and re-assess these performance targets annually.

One important note: Make sure primary care physicians get a piece of the pie. Although surgical specialists might be responsible for most of the hospital’s costs and revenue, primary care doctors have the most frequent patient contact and are also responsible for most of the work of chronic disease management.

Invest Early for Healthy Returns

Even hospitals without the resources of a large medical system can achieve clinical integration by focusing on strategic investment and engaging community physicians through quality improvement. Hospital leaders need to allow physicians to establish the quality benchmarks and evidence-based protocols for the organization’s costliest conditions. Leaders can then concentrate on linking doctors through technology, assisting with care coordination, and negotiating with payers on bundled payments or pay-for-performance incentives.

To read this article in a PDF format, please click on the button below:

Topics: EHR, EMR, Electronic Health Records, Electronic Medical Records, Clinical Integration, Health IT, Video, Coordinated Care

VIDEO: A Passionate Case for Coordinated Care--A Wife's Story

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jan 8, 2013 4:53:00 PM

Electronic Health Records, EHRWatch this impassioned story--straight from a wife who fought for her dying husband's medical records. This clearly illustrates how coordinated care can help not only the patient but also the families of the sick.

Roger Holliday was diagnosed with kidney cancer, and throughout his diagnosis and treatment was unable to conveniently obtain his medical records. Access to his paper medical records was nearly impossible to get, was costly and extremely time consuming. 

Regina knew that if her husband's records had been stored as an EHR both her husband's doctors and she would have had access to the health information instantly, thus allowing for the coordination and continuity of care required of a cancer patient. 

While EHR detractors may argue that some of the challenges she faced were clearly hospital policy issues, it is clear that an EHR could have alleviated her and her husband's stress at the end-of-life stage.

 

 Video courtesy of HealthIT.gov
Electronic Health Records EHR Assessment

Topics: EHR, EMR, Electronic Health Records, Electronic Medical Records, Clinical Integration, Health IT, Video, Coordinated Care

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