Data access is key to closing care gaps

Advanced analytics can uncover gaps in care but unless that information is available to front line health care professionals the gaps will remain.

Teamwork and the right technology can ensure data can be accessed and utilized in a timely manner. This approach is working for both providers and payers.

For example Premier Medical Associates, a large physicians’ practice based in Pennsylvania, incorporated patient dashboards into their daily workflow and set expectations for their staff and providers.

Holly Kern, director of quality care at Premier, explains.

“Everyone is responsible for checking a patient’s dashboard, from primary care to specialists,” says Kern.

“If the gastroenterologists or the cardiologist sees that a patient with diabetes hasn’t had their A1C drawn, it’s their responsibility to talk to the patient about getting that gap closed.”

Kern says Premier has a list of 30 care gaps on their patient dashboard, ranging from mammograms to tobacco cessation counseling.

A recent article  highlights the work of Medical Card System, Inc. (MCS), an insurer also relying on collaboration and digital tools.

Linda Lee, vice president of quality improvement, told Managed Healthcare Executive MCS partnered with providers to deliver care gap reports.

MCS transitioned from paper spreadsheets to electronic reports that are updated in real-time. The reports not only highlight care gaps but also identify patients most likely to respond to interventions.

Lee says the reports can be accessed at every patient touchpoint from encounters with office staff to appointments with nurses and physicians.

To learn more about care gaps — and how they relate to readmissions — read the latest #5in5 episode. It features Holly Kern answering 5 questions in 5 minutes.

About the Author:

Leslie Cozatt currently serves as director of Marketing, Optum Provider – Thought Leadership and Content Strategy. She directs the development of content that spotlights the role of data analytics in healthcare – specifically the transition to value-based care, risk management and population health management. She brings to her role more than 20 years of experience developing B2B and B2C integrated marketing campaigns for companies including ThreeWire, Eliance and 3M. Leslie attended the University of Minnesota and graduated from Wellington College with a BS in international business & communication.

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