I’ve spent the last few months talking to health systems around the country, and reconciling the harmony between real or perceived health IT needs and clinical goals inevitably emerges. Assessing a real population health management approach intertwined with value-based care models is a common refrain within the big picture as well.
As a nurse, I have spent more than 30 years in healthcare in roles. I have spent the last 25 of these years in leadership roles that included inpatient and outpatient settings, and building quality programs.
Most recently, I was the president of a medical group in southwest Michigan, and prior to that the vice president responsible for population health. I have seen all sides of the equation before taking on my current more consultative role.
At a recent Becker’s Healthcare conference, I staffed a panel with two very esteemed clinicians from the Trinity and Cleveland Clinic systems. Our appearance was titled, “Using Health IT to Improve Care Transitions and Communications.” What it turned out to be was a dominant discussion on the challenges today of communication and being able to see the entirety of a patient within the multiple platforms we do our work in.
Both panel partners supported the merits of a single-system EHR as the step to take towards improvement. This is what is commonly referred to as a rip and replace scenario. Challenging and very expensive. But it is a point of view that has ebbed and flowed historically since the days of meaningful use, when building an EHR or health IT system was about adoption and compliance more than envisioning a patient-centered ecosystem, and those challenges still remain.