What is the Value of Health IT? A HIMSS14 Carnival Post

July 17, 2014 Dennis McGuire

At its core, the value of health IT is simple: optimize people and practice in order to enhance point-of-care decision-making. To do this, both the front-end navigation and the systems integration on the knowledge base need to work seamlessly together, enabling real people to make real decisions in real time.  The value of health IT is different depending on who is experiencing it: patient, hospital administrator or the healthcare payer.

For the Patient 

When it comes to patients, the value of health IT is immeasurable as it can be a matter of life and death. It has a huge impact on every step of the healthcare interaction process, vastly improving the personalized quality of care received.

By increasing and continually creating new health IT methods, patients are enabled to make knowledgeable, consensual decisions about their care and finances with their provider, which creates realistic expectations for them.  Superior, accessible information equates to safer health care for individuals.

Electronic health records (EHR) and electronic medical records (EMR) allow patients to review personal health information that had previously been unavailable to them. Mobile health apps are having a massive impact on how patients approach their health care needs. From electrocardiogram reading to disease management to general health and nutrition monitoring, mobile apps are changing the face of healthcare by putting real-time tracking information in the hands of patients (and doctors).

To a patient, these health IT innovations are priceless.

For the Provider and Hospital Administrator 

Care providers are benefitting from enhanced Health IT capabilities.  When it comes to education and returning to patient-centered care, innovations, like 3D visualization and Interactive and Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVAs), are enhancing the way doctors and nurses learn. Check out a demonstration we created for the HIMSS show.

For Administrators, knowledge is power. We at CodeBaby are getting a bird’s eye view into how IVAs help patients successfully complete forms.

We’re gaining insights on how empowering patients through self-selection is saving time and money:

Organizations* which have utilized CodeBaby’s technology to implement virtual assistants on their websites have experienced:

  • 76% increase in patient engagement
  • 33% decrease in call center labor
  • 27% increase in paying insurance customer conversions
  • 80% increase in form completion accuracy
  • 98% form completion rate

*Sourcing Available

IVAs are making a big splash in health IT education, as well. Medical Universities, like University Health Network in Toronto, are utilizing these characters in learning modules to train students. They can be added to customized settings (i.e. emergency care rooms or doctor’s offices) and set up to quiz students on proper procedure for various care situations. They reenact patient scenarios to better prepare students for real-life situations outside of school. These eLearning modules can also be used to train medical staff with new practices and procedures in the work force.

For the Industry

Health information exchanges and interoperability created the framework for holistic payer/provider networks to deliver “value-based care.” Leveraging technology is central to this. These organizations use data from multiple sources to gain insights into the patient populations with the goal of shifiting higher risk populations into care management programs, avoiding expensive crisis interventions.

Health IT accomplishments and cloud computing have liberated information by allowing the industry as a whole to gather, quantify, and gauge an assortment of healthcare-related information. This emancipation of information creates a much-needed, seamless network of shared data for providers, regardless of which hospital or state employs them.

Beyond optimizing patient care and administration, it is evident that Patient Portal EHRs, mHealth apps, 3D visualization, and IVA’s can go a long way to harmonizing healthcare prices in the United States.

Historically, America has been on the forefront of medical research and cancer treatments, but treatment is often cost prohibitive, causing people to seek medical tourism alternatives. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which require the use of Health IT, helps decrease administrative costs and increase preventative care routines – paving the way for the next generation of healthcare advancements.

These incredible advances are saving lives by opening access and making the art and science of healthcare more precise. Diagnosing a patient more quickly, ensuring the correct treatment, facilitating better adherence to that treatment plan, and involving the patient along the way all make Health IT an invaluable advance in care methods.

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