By: David Sanderson
Digital, wireless and mobile innovations are fundamentally changing the way many industries do business. They’ve created new business models for connectivity where speed-to-market, increased productivity, less paperwork, better outcomes and greater profitability are available to those willing to replace the old with the new.
No industry has more potential to realize these benefits than healthcare. For companies who consider the new healthcare paradigm of connectivity, communication pathways are now available to deliver the right information to the right person at the right time with critical advantages.
The benefits of connectivity can be applied to all four segments of the healthcare continuum – Patients, Physicians, Providers and Payors. Here are 5 reasons why the healthcare company with the greatest connectivity wins.
- CONNECTIVITY IS BRINGING TOGETHER UNPRECENTED COLLABORATION: In April, five innovative and leading health systems - Mayo Clinic, Geisinger, Kaiser Permanente, Intermountain Healthcare and Group Health Announce Plan - each of whom are pioneers in the use of electronic medical records (EMR) for their patients, joined together to announce a new initiative to securely exchange electronic health data through a Care Connectivity Consortium. What is significant is that the benefits of connectivity, not outside influences or pressures, brought industry leaders together.
- EVERY HEALTHCARE COMPANY NEEDS AN EMR AND PHR CONNECTIVITY STRATEGY: Healthcare companies are more accountable than ever. Connectivity demonstrates responsiveness to hospitals, clinics, imaging center and laboratories and flexibility to different EMR data specification. When EMR’s connect with PHR’s (Personal Health Records), this allows for the automation and streamlining of the workflow in health care settings and increases safety through evidence-based decision support, quality management, and outcomes reporting. The strength of connectivity affects the number of referrals received from various physicians and the strength of a long term relationship.
- CONNECTIVITY HAS FINANCIAL ADVANTAGES: In one study, Markle estimated financial incentives of approximately $3 to $6 per patient visit or $0.50 to $1.00 per member per month, based on 4,000 patient visits per year or a 2,000 patient panel, as a sufficient starting point to encourage adoption of EMR connectivity technologies for ambulatory services. Estimates represented approximately $7 - $14 billion per year for three years or 1.2% to 2.4% of the total amount spent on ambulatory care. Connectivity also present significant financial advantages in reducing preventable readmissions where the American Hospital Association reports up to 19% of hospital stays are readmissions within 30 days of discharges resulting in $17 billion in medical costs annually.
- CONNECTIVITY ACHIEVES GREATER PATIENT CARE AND BUSINESS PROFITABILY: Doctors and nurses are starting to transition from clipboards to tablets and they’re taking advantage of the medical device applications available. Once the application is developed and the proper network infrastructure is put in place, hardware costs come down as well as space requirements. No longer do you need to find space in a tight patient room. A tablet can rest in the physicians hand and takes way less room then a computer. If a tablet goes down, you hand the doctor or nurse another one. No more downtime of expensive critical computers. This is so much easier to maintain then computers all over.
- MEDICAL CONNECTIVITY IS MOVING TO MOBILE CONNECTIVITY: Smart phone and tablets are changing business delivery and the major manufacturers, particularly Apple, are targeting healthcare. Just to give you one example, an iPhone can now be used as a: 1) Virtualized medical device, 2) a sensor gateway to measure vital signs and 3) a point of care computing device.
From Payor to Provider to Physician to Patient, connectivity is now a foundational strategic point of difference for any healthcare company to leverage for business growth.
For over 20 years, we’ve worked in partnership roles with global companies. If there is one thing we’ve learned, it is to start with models that can make businesses grow. In healthcare, we believe the new paradigm is connectivity.
Would you agree with us?
image credit: tribehut