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Big Data:  Using IT Every Day

By Michael G. Hunt, CEO, St. Vincent’s Health Partners

Everywhere you look data can be captured (health care applications, personal monitoring devices, etc.), but when, what, and how the data is presented to a provider determines it meaningfulness.  Data forms traditional sources have varying levels of specificity from Payer (claims and Payer distributed reporting), EMRs, PHRs, laboratory systems, practice management systems, radiology information systems, and impactful medical research is exploding.  Each of these data sources are not always available at the “time of service” when treating patients acutely.

In a perfect world, all of these data sources would be available instantaneously and through sophisticated clinical decision support, current medical literature, all available patient data, and evidence based cost effective interventions could be presented to the provider to guide the most optimal plan of care individualized to the patient.  If changes in technology weren’t challenging enough, healthcare delivery is in the middle of transforming into a value-based reimbursement model moving away from fee-for-service.  Medscape’s Physician Lifestyle Report 2015 indicates that 50 percent of physicians are experiencing “burnout”.  Burnout is caused by too many bureaucratic tasks, too many hours at work, income not reflecting the hours worked computerization of practice, impact of the Affordable Care Act, challenge to offer continuous high quality care to increasing patient demand, and lack of fulfillment as report by Carol Peckham.  Physicians now must know how to participate in Medicare Shared Savings Program, Medicare Advantage, quality enhanced reimbursement, bundled payments, and other reimbursement models.  The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 essentially minimized focus on fee-for-service and fortifies the move to quality and value based reimbursement models.  More than ever, physicians must remain engaged and knowledgeable to the “rules” to reimbursement to achieve success in quality/performance based reimbursement.