Innovation is taking place across the various sectors of U.S. healthcare—not only across the provider sector, but also across the vendor sector. The editors of Healthcare Informatics asked an esteemed panel of national industry leaders to evaluate dozens of solutions providers in five critical areas of innovation development; below are the firms whose solutions our judges identified as offering the most promise to help transform healthcare.
Innovation in Value-Based Healthcare: Holon Solutions
The 2018 winner in the value-based healthcare category is Holon Solutions, an Alpharetta, Ga-based firm that helps healthcare organizations across the country “liberate” their data, in order to provide physicians with the information they need at the point of care. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Holon Solutions, Bryant Castleton, Chief Strategy Officer (CSO), Robert Connely, and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), Julie Mann spoke with Healthcare Informatics about why population health needs to be about the present as much as the past–and the importance of partnerships to enable true value in the healthcare space.
Tell me about Holon Solutions’ vision for value-based healthcare.
Robert Connely, CSO: We see the same paradigm happening in healthcare over and over again. In the 80’s and 90’s, we had managed care and capitation. That was value-based care in its infancy. But the problem was that there wasn’t a lot of technology augmentation to help providers cross the bridge to true value-based care.
What we’ve learned, as things have progressed, is that technology can be an enabler. If we can know when a specific patient falls into a specific value-based contract arrangement, with their insurance company, with their doctor at the point of care, what kind of information should that doctor know so they can take the right action? We serve actionable insights—the kind of insights that when surfaced at the point of care, have a tangible impact on value-based care. The kind of insights that can shift cost curves and value metrics going forward.
There are companies coming out of the woodwork every day trying to make population health a reality. They want to be able to stratify the risk by putting people into different buckets and then analyzing the data to understand where an organization may have fallen short the past year. But they are working in the past. Holon is turning that strategy on its head. We want to take population health and put it in the present. Instead of looking at data that so many population health analytics vendors know about their patients in an aggregate view, we want to give that information to the doctors when they need it the most: when the patient is physically in the room with them. That allows them to take meaningful action and make a difference for that patient, and for the organization, right then and there. Our patent-pending interoperability solution equips our customers with this capability for the first time—at scale and agnostically.
How do you see the competitive marketplace moving in the value-based healthcare space?
Bryant Castleton, CEO: While independent physicians have invested in their own electronic medical records (EMRs), larger health systems would prefer providers deploy to their monolithic systems such as Epic or Cerner. Affiliated physicians that value their independence and autonomy want to stay in the solution they have invested in and are accustomed to. We’re able to partner with the health systems and help deliver the population health information to the affiliate at their point of care and within their workflow, regardless of their EMR. This is a true win/win for the health system and the independent physician.
The reality is that, while a lot of physicians have consolidated and joined health systems, many value their independence and healthcare will never be absolutely monolithic. Migrating all users onto a single EMR platform or data standard is never going to be realistic for everyone. Our solution operates as a bridge for the many disparate healthcare technologies to provide truly meaningful solution for the connectivity challenges organizations face.
To what do you attribute Holon Solutions’ success?
Bryant Castleton, CEO: Great partnerships—both internally and on the customer front. As CEO, I too surround myself with people that are a lot smarter than me. We always look to hire all-stars, brilliant people who share our values, understand our mission and can help us do what we say we will do for our customers.
But it’s also about working with great customers. We are privileged to work with some of the true thought leaders in healthcare today. Our customers give us great feedback as we build up our solutions so we can make them even better. We started building our CollaborNet platform several years ago. During this period, a couple of hand-selected organizations partnered with us to launch it, test it, and refine it. This year, as we officially go to market, we know our solution is robust and ready for prime time, because our partners have already helped prove it out.
How do you see the future—both in terms of challenges and opportunities—when it comes to value-based healthcare?
Julie Mann, CCO: The future of value-based care is dependent on collaboration. Some of the key challenges have been fragmented technologies and a multi-payer system with a growing list of quality metrics. With these challenges, the clear opportunity for organizations to achieve value-based care success is through collaboration. Our team has reimagined interoperability. Our first-to-market solution enables fragmented technologies to communicate with each other by leveraging our sensor-based technology. This breakthrough allows our customers to link insights across their sea of platforms. We compliment the technologies by allowing them to speak to each other and maintaining contextual awareness. Additionally, our solution empowers organizations with the ability to push universal alerts out to their providers, regardless of the EMR in play. For value-based care to be successful, you need that kind of conduit.