[Recommendations] 5 key areas that should be on your 2015 health IT plan

We tapped Dr. David Levin, Nordic’s Chief Medical Officer, and asked him to list the top areas that he feels organizations need to focus on in 2015. Here’s what he gave us:

Image of Dr. David Levin1. Optimization. Leverage your existing systems to maximize your previous investment in healthcare IT. There’s been a lot of money invested in HIT (EHRs) over the last five years - with mixed results. It’s time to be heads down on getting more out of this investment rather than seeking yet another technology to solve problems. Partner with seasoned professionals to ensure that you are maximizing every possible return on your investment, both in terms of financial savings and patient care.

2. Population Health. Medicare has begun paying providers to coordinate care of chronic disease. This is one example of the leading edge of a greater emphasis on on-going care for individuals and populations and changing reimbursement models to support this approach. Many leading health systems are grappling with the best way to organize this care and determining the data and analytics necessary to improve care. While they may eventually need additional HIT; the initial focus should be on building solid, comprehensive programs that - you got it - leverage previous investments (a la #1 above).

3. Regulatory Compliance. MU is morphing from being an “initiative” to an on-going program that can be viewed more like the way we think about JCAHO and other compliance regimes. MU Stage 1 was a challenge. Stage 2 will be very hard (only a small percent have attested so far). Stage 3 (and there will be 3 and more after that) will be very hard. Organizations should be focused on building on-going programmatic capabilities that link MU and other compliance closely with HIT strategy and tactics.

4. ICD-10. This is a very high-risk event. Many will find themselves underwater financially and will need to adjust ASAP. Preparation is key. Know your tech. Know the details for the specific medical specialties you are dealing with (for example orthopedics will be particularly hard hit). Know your training plan. Have metrics and the ability to audit and adjust in near real time.

5. Patient Engagement. To drive satisfaction, brand loyalty and most important to improve clinical outcomes. Patients will behave increasingly like consumers. They want TRUST, TRANSPARENCY and TRANSACTIONS. Organizations should be leveraging patient portals and new mHealth capabilities to engage and delight patients as consumers and to empower and partner with them for clinical care.

If you’d like to talk with Dave (or any of our other Nordic experts) about any of these topics, please contact us and we’ll start the conversation. Here’s to a wonderful 2015!