By Paul Hooven, Agathos Analytics Lead
Provider attribution, the process of associating outcomes to the care of individual providers, is a critical component of an effective performance improvement initiative. Hospitals can realize big gains using data to drive performance—but doing so requires understanding how providers, patients, and diseases map to measurable outcomes.
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By Apeksha Desai, MD, Agathos Medical Advisor
Photo by Harvard Business Review
Traditionally, healthcare has been organized around independent practitioners with high emphasis on physician autonomy and respect. In the changing healthcare climate, this emphasis has slowly been shifting to larger physician groups and hospital employment of physicians, where the patient is at the center of all decisions made.
By Usha Periyanayagam, MD, ER Physician and Agathos Medical Lead
Photo by EHR Intelligence
Why do so many technology companies struggle with physician adoption? Are physicians technophobes, is it the technology, or some combination of both?
The unfortunate reality is that many physicians either dislike or do not use many health IT solutions. This is largely because physicians, like myself, have been soured by negative experiences with technology that was not built with our experience in mind.
By Christine Sublett, Information Security and Privacy Expert, Agathos Advisor
On June 2, 2017, the HHS Healthcare Industry Cybersecurity Task Force released our final Report on Improving Cybersecurity in the Health Care Industry to Congress.
The Task Force report demonstrates the urgency and complexity of the cybersecurity risks facing the health care industry and calls for collaboration between public and private industry to protect our systems and patients from cyber threats. Our Task Force recognized that security issues are patient safety issues.
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By Terry McDonnell, Agathos Head of Product
“Do you integrate with my EMR vendor?” is one of the first questions a digital health application vendor will get from a prospective client, and with good reason. It has historically been a Sisyphean task - requiring custom interfaces and hours of hospital IT time. Often, it feels like as soon as one such integration effort is complete, the data requirements have changed, the IT staff has turned over, and the software has not been able to deliver on its initial promise to provide value to its intended stakeholders. Thankfully, developments over the last couple years have started to make the mission of healthcare interoperability more possible.
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By David Alvarez, MD, Medical Director, Hospitalist & Agathos Advisor
As a hospitalist and medical director, I understand a physician’s decision to discharge a patient is often not black and white. Clinical, operational, and social factors impact both physician and patient readiness for discharge and occasionally result in a higher than necessary length of stay (LOS). In addition to its cost and efficiency impacts, unnecessarily high LOS can have a negative impact on patient outcomes like readmissions and HAIs (hospital-acquired infections). Analytics at both the group and individual physician level can help hospitalist groups uncover previously hidden LOS drivers. Reliable data can empower physicians to test and measure validated means of optimizing LOS while maintaining or improving patient outcomes.
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For hospitalists, delivering high-quality care is a complex balancing act between goals and constraints. We strive to make evidence-based clinical decisions, facilitate seamless transitions of care, and allocate time for difficult patient conversations within a full shift. When I think of high-quality care, I am generally not thinking of CMS quality metrics like patient satisfaction, readmission rates, or goals like length of stay. Rather, my focus is on providing the best care to my patients that will meet their goals in a timely and cost-effective way. Oftentimes, these goals align with CMS metrics but not always.
By Andrew Trees, Agathos Co-Founder & CEO
Photo by BMJ Blog
As U.S. healthcare payments become increasingly value-based, quality improvement initiatives will enable hospitals to improve patient outcomes, realize operational efficiencies, and better manage the financial risk associated with emerging payment models.
Quality improvement (QI) is the systematic, formal approach to analyzing and improving practice performance. There are already numerous proven best practices for managing QI toward given metrics. However, objective definition and measurement of healthcare quality—particularly as it pertains to individual providers—is a very challenging task. While quality metrics theoretically give physicians useful benchmarks, they too often foster distrust or apathy when not carefully developed, implemented, and measured.
Last week, forty thousand health IT professionals arrived in Orlando for the HIMSS (Healthcare Information & Management Systems Society) annual meeting, the biggest health informatics event of the year.
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By Andrew Trees, Agathos Co-Founder & CEO
Welcome to the new website and web blog! We invite you to follow us as we explore topics spanning behavioral economics, practice economics, health economics, health technology, medical practice, and everything in between.