In my last blog, Always be Learning, I shared my top take-aways (or pennies) from attending three healthcare conferences in three weeks. In this round, I wanted to share some conversations I’ve had that inspired me as we tackle Holon’s bold goal of owning the provider’s desktop – shielding clinicians from unnecessary administrative burden when our break-through technology is employed. These recent conversations, from speaking with a physician advocate in Boston, to attending meetings with CEOs and Sisters in San Diego, gave me confidence that Holon can indeed help lighten the load for providers with a little of our “magic”.
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.” Michelangelo
Provider burnout is a result of many things. From Holon’s viewpoint, we are focusing on the administrative burden and how our technology can play a role in alleviating this contributing stressor. According to Medscape’s National Physician Burnout and Depression Report 2018, “Too many bureaucratic tasks (e.g., charting, paperwork)” is the #1 contributor to physician burnout.
The American College of Physicians (ACP) published an article highlighting their findings on how physicians actually spend their day. While in the examination room with patients, physicians spent their time split into these two primary areas:
- 52.9% on direct clinical face time
- 32.0% on EHR and desk work
Outside of the exam room, the conclusion of this study was: “for every hour physicians provide direct clinical face time to patients, nearly 2 additional hours are spent on EHR and desk work within the clinic day”.
The amount of time physicians are spending on “desk work”, in the EHR, and on administrative tasks, is alarming. Technology is typically designed to improve a user’s experience. EHRs were originally designed to create documentation to support reimbursement for services. As a result of that original design, they fundamentally have been cumbersome for clinicians. As EHRs continue to evolve and improve, they are getting better, but remain a stressor for clinicians.
Mitchell Josephson, from KLAS, recently posted a blog with a fantastic graph (below) illustrating the “Functionality Satisfaction” by 6 Population Health Management (PHM) verticals, including “Clinician Engagement”. Of the 13 vendors highlighted, only one scored as “very satisfied”. Similar to the EHR vendors improving their user experience, so too are the PHM vendors, but these improvements take time. As Josephson concludes his post, “For now, it’s important for providers to own the vision and process of their population health goals and leverage strategic vendor partners to help them drive that vision.”
We agree, and Holon is here to help. Our philosophy is to rely on the existing technologies our value-based care customers have invested in (such as EHRs, HIEs, analytics, population health management sytems, and care coordination platforms) and then use our sensor-based technology to surface the right insights in context. Our goal is to alleviate administration burden – we minimize the steps, systems, and time. With Holon, providers can stay in their workflow while Holon “taps them on the shoulder” when critical information is available.
Conversation with an expert working to reduce physician suicide.
At HIMSS, I was able to first meet Janae Sharp, founder and CEO of the Sharp Index. Janae is a leading advocate for physicians and preventing physician burn-out. Their mission is, “to reduce physician suicide and provide meaningful tools to improve provider quality of life”.
We later connected over lunch in Boston. As we shared that time together, it became apparent to us that infusing Holon into a clinician’s workday might help with Janae’s mission – improve the provider experience and truly get some of that quality of life back. Here are some of her thoughts from our conversation:
“Most physicians choose their profession because they care about people and improving the lives of their patients,” said Sharp. “At a time when technology should be improving their ability to care for their patients and increase the time they have to focus on that care, the opposite seems to be true. Along with all of the other factors that are competing for clinicians’ time and causing such unprecedented burnout, technology must make their lives simpler. I am excited by what I see in Holon. Clinicians can easily install your solution and essentially forget that it is there. Important data is presented when it is needed, specific to the patient in context. If Holon can continue to deliver for physicians with that mindset, I think you are helping simplify their lives.”
Please visit her website to learn more about, support, and donate to her incredible non-profit.
Listening to providers.
At Catholic Health Association’s Assembly last week, Robert Connely and I visited with countless physicians, Sisters, CEOs, board members, care providers, and community members. Surrounding the topics of technology, enhancing care, and removing barriers, the following themes were consistently discussed:
- EHRs don’t have all the answers – information from outside the EHR needs to be presented to the provider in their workflow.
- Physicians and care teams need help to reduce the number of systems viewed per patient encounter to access the data essential to value-based care.
- Community engagement is essential – tools to facilitate the collaboration across care settings are needed.
In wrapping up our conversation on Holon and our mission to “Liberate the Data” to “Liberate the Care”, Sr. Jean Rhoades kindly quipped, “Is that line over the “o” in Holon a halo?”.
While at the Assembly, I had the privilege of spending time with Sandra “Sandy” Bruce. Sandy recently retired from her role as CEO of Presence Health. She currently volunteers her time to advise Holon after being introduced to us by a friend. This past April, Sandy traveled to Grand Rapids to meet with Great Lakes Health Connect (GLHC) and learned how this self-sustaining health information exchange (HIE) is providing value beyond data exchange. They have partnered with Holon and offer their members our community collaboration tool (CollaborNetä Referrals) to seamlessly route patients to the right care at the right time. We are in the initial phase of the project and currently have 70 locations of care live. The next wave will bring an additional 668 locations live. Our technology is a compliment to the robust technology the HIE and their partners have in play. Holon infuses automation whenever possible to enable steering patients to the best option for his or her care needs whether those be traditional care settings or community-based programs.
As a former CEO, Sandy recognized the incredible value our solution has and was hooked! Sandy states, “I believe the use of Holon will ultimately result in better care for those we serve and will enable and enhance integration of healthcare systems and community resources.”
We always learn from listening to care providers and industry advocates. Such conversations supplement the ongoing guidance we receive from our current customers and partners to keep us innovating with a focus on interoperability and improving user experience through the use of our CollaborNet platform.
“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”
I love Harry Potter and I am a member of Hufflepuff (find your house here). “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good”, is the secret phrase that unlocks the enchanted map created by an all-star team of wizards to help a friend (with an unfortunate condition of periodically turning into a werewolf) exit Hogwarts undetected. To close the map, the counter password, “mischief managed” is uttered.
In speaking with the CEO of a healthcare technology company last week, this Harry Potter analogy came to mind. The CEO simply believes that everyone should be on a single vendor’s technology – and in turn all innovation resides with that vendor – and as a result all the power is in their hands. We at Holon don’t think that way. We are all in this together. Collaboration, community, and partnership are essential to healthcare.
The status quo needs to bend a little bit to achieve a greater good. Sometimes powerful minds need to come together to create something magical to enable it. A strategy of “all on one EHR” is not realistic for most, nor the only option (check out Banner Health’s strategy here). Holon’s solution infuses a little “magic” into the mix to unlock the power of our customers’ data and existing technologies. Our team of innovators will continue to “Liberate the Data” to “Liberate the Care”. In a way, our 7-patents pending solution can be seen as “magic” as we disrupt healthcare interoperability. Depending on your perspective, like the one I referenced above, our team of innovators could be seen as “up to no good”. However, we firmly believe we are “mischief managed”.
Thanks for reading. Reach out and let us know how we can help you.
Julie has spent more than 15 years focused in healthcare information technology, working to deliver innovative solutions that help make the health system work better for all. She has held services and sales roles at organizations from startups to Fortune 500 firms, and from providers to technology companies, equipping her with a unique perspective into customers’ challenges, and enabling her to formulate solutions to meet their needs.
Julie leads sales, marketing, and business development for Holon. Prior to joining Holon, Mann was vice president of regional sales at Optum, where she was responsible for the growth of the Optum Analytics portfolio of technologies and services to the provider market in the northeastern US. Before Optum, she was a regional sales director at Wellcentive (now part of Philips Healthcare). Julie earned her B.S. in business administration and marketing from Le Moyne College, where she was also a captain of the women’s soccer team.