Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media
, October 30, 2012
Tell the total patient story with technology. "We have fundamental EMRs in place, and we have them in hospitals and in ambulatory care settings, but what we don't have is the coming together in a meaningful way that actually tells you the story of the total patient at different episodes," Ryba says. "If there was a way with payers, with providers, with businesses, to really come together on some type of common platform that actually tracks life, life episodes, [and] life changes" and stresses prevention efforts, that would make a big difference, she says.
Expect government requirements to change as the science changes. "It's dangerous when the government says, Here are the processes that you should be ranked on, and then you find five years later, ‘Oh never mind, those were irrelevant,'" Rubin says. "Documentation of smoking cessation advice is just a joke. That you have a checkbox at admissions, and really what you should have been looking at are these three or four prime comorbidities." There's "tons of room for innovation" in technology that can track multiple chronic comorbidities or different disease categories, he says.
The care team social network. Instead of physically collocating team members from different disciplines, another panelist suggested a technological equivalent. "We're using Salesforce Chatter to allow providers in a confidential way to share their thoughts across the continuum," says Mark R. Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco. "It's been very helpful."
Free technology is never really free. "Companies underestimate the cost that we bear to do something for free," Rubin says. "When you think you're giving us something for free, we're probably spending $300,000 to get that thing for free, in internal costs, just given our cost structure." Rubin says it's a matter of priorities. "I just had all the dermatologists in my office yesterday, because they don't like the order entry in the Epic workflow. If you can fix that, it would be a good one. I could work on that project for them, or I could get my IT people to spend the time doing [some] gainsharing analysis" with a technology vendor offering a solution to some other problem. "Which one am I going to choose?" Rubin asks.
Scott Mace is senior technology editor at HealthLeaders Media.