Healthcare practitioners and patients alike have directly benefitted from the technological advances that have rapidly occurred over the last century. Patient care wards are outfitted with highly-sophisticated medical devices that assist institutions in monitoring their patients’ health, help them perform complex preventative and responsive procedures, and even perform essential organ functions.
Although the exact impact of new medical technology on our health is immense, it is measurable: longer lifespans and decreased mortality rates due to certain diseases or health problems are just some indicators of a healthier population. Positive health outcomes such as these should continue to improve as future technology and processes are developed. In the coming years, however, the most effective tool available to the health care industry might be the wealth of data collected from patients.
‘Population health’ and ‘population health management’ are broadly used to encompass the study and use of population data.These definitions centralize the study around the health outcomes, the patterns of determinants, and intervention policies.
It was one such intervention policy, the Affordable Care Act, which led to the creation of Epic Healthy Planet. The ACA introduced Accountable Care Organizations in order to bolster positive patient outcomes by incentivizing practitioner’s work: providers who choose to join an ACO are paid for performing their services and depending on whether or not the patient experienced a healthy result. One of Epic Healthy Planet’s essential functions, then, is helping providers monitor their patients’ health.
Epic modules such as MyChart and Cogito help you achieve this by aggregating patients’ individual data into population data. Due to the extensive nature of patient information that is collected, Epic Healthy Planet provides versatility in performing analysis on health outcomes. Epic clients have the capability to perform retrospective and current analysis of health outcomes, as well as performing predictive analytics to project future health trends. This allows a thorough understanding of your patient population to coordinate care to improve their health, whether it be for a specific subset of your patients such as those diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes, a group of high-cost patients, or for your patient population as a whole.
Not only does doing this help practitioners decide what clinical measures should be taken, it also helps them project the quantity of services that will be provided. In turn, the organization can devote an adequate amount of resources to this coordinated care effort to control costs.
Just as revenue is increased by decreasing costs, it is also elevated for organizations participating as ACOs by providing high-quality care. Healthy Planet can help practitioners keep pace with their patients’ health status, recording data from their return visits and even from their own homes via MyChart. Time before readmission is one such health outcome that indicates your care quality, and as such can suggest if any changes to your patient’s treatment plan are needed.
Epic Healthy Planet is a platform that stimulates practitioner and patient engagement in their treatment plan. Even the simplest of descriptive statistics such as patient population and national averages for health outcomes and determinants can encourage patients to pay attention to how their personal scores measure up. Conscientious patients can be more willing to follow through with their doctor’s instructions and actively seek out further care if it is necessary.
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