Industry Roundtable: Architecting a Modern Healthcare Knowledge Supply Chain

Healthcare Knowledge Supply Chain

Thought leaders from NCQA, Holon Solutions, Apervita, and Qure4u spearhead conversation on overcoming data fragmentation to deliver comprehensive care everywhere and anywhere

ALPHARETTA, GA, June 15, 2021 – Holon Solutions, healthcare’s leading precision information delivery company, recently convened a virtual roundtable about the troubling state of knowledge transfer in today’s healthcare ecosystem and how the industry must evolve to better serve providers, payers, and patients. The roundtable participants shared their perspectives on current challenges, as well as how to develop a modern infrastructure that promotes collaboration amongst fragmented systems and stakeholders and empowers healthcare organizations with actionable insights to deliver comprehensive and personalized care for every patient.

The roundtable participants included:

  • Michael S. Barr, MD, MBA, MACP, Executive VP of Quality Measurement and Research at The National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA)
  • Monica Bolbjerg, MD, CEO, Qure4u
  • Blackford Middleton, MD, MPH, MSc, FACP, FACMI, FHIMSS, FIAHSI, Chief Informatics and Innovation Officer, Apervita
  • Jon Zimmerman, CEO, Holon Solutions

Healthcare experts, including the roundtable panelists, have long agreed that industry fragmentation is both frustrating and dangerous. Insufficient information leads to gaps in care that may contribute significantly to poor outcomes for an untold number of patients. In addition, the waste from this fragmentation can reach more than $900 billion per year, or a quarter of total medical spending.

Key takeaways from the roundtable included:

  • Defining the healthcare knowledge supply chain and the need for change: “The healthcare knowledge supply chain is the path that data follows from the moment it is created to the point when it is applied to decision-making,” said Zimmerman. “It is difficult to take all the appropriate actions without knowing what actions you are expected to take. The revolution comes when we design, implement, and execute a healthcare knowledge supply chain that delivers information in a manner that allows for the right action at the right time.”

“For example, if you are suggesting a lab order or a change in medication, there must be an option right there to make it happen,” he commented. “Otherwise, you’re not going to foster behavior change or translate that information into action or better outcomes.”

  • Recognizing the critical role of data, technology and collaboration: “Our goal is to provide excellent, personalized, responsive care every time for every person,” said Barr. “The way we get there is through accurate, actionable, timely data and information that reflects the best available knowledge at the time.”

“We have vast amounts of data that are being collected at the point of care, much of which is not currently being used in a meaningful way,” he said. “We need to evolve the way we leverage this data and incorporate it into quality measures…without adding burdens to the people generating the data at the point of care. We can do that by taking existing measures, putting them in digital formats, and augmenting them with additional components, such as change over time, so they can be consumed by health plans, technology vendors, and others to improve delivery systems.” 

  • Moving away from “cookbook medicine” in the next generation of knowledge transfer and clinical decision support: “As a doctor with 25 years of practice experience, I’m well aware that no one really needs to be told what to do,” said Middleton. “But we all want to do the best we can for all of our patients, [so] the goal is to augment and support the clinician so that all the variables are always accounted for, especially because medicine moves so quickly and there’s always new information available.”

He added, “While CDS has been around for decades, it hasn’t been uniformly successful at reducing waste or improving outcomes through evidence-based choices. The aim is to move from the basics of first-generation CDS to true cognitive augmentation that incorporates rich, curated, tailored data from multiple sources. When successful, this uninterrupted supply chain of knowledge can dramatically improve the clinical care process for patients and providers.”

  • Closing gaps in knowledge delivery requires a deeper connection with patients and better patient engagement: “The time lag that constrains the usefulness of many CDS systems isn’t just due to outdated claims data,” said Bolbjerg. “Inconsistent and delayed connections with patients themselves make it difficult to get timely data into the knowledge supply chain in the first place.”

“The best way we can engage patients is through a virtual care platform that acts as a layer of communication and connection across that divide. It is imperative that virtual care platforms provide value for patients during every interaction. When the platform yields obvious benefits to the end-user, it gives the patient a reason to keep coming back. It’s important to consider what’s in it for them. If you can foster more meaningful, ongoing touchpoints you get more data and engagement from patients.”

Most importantly, the roundtable participants agree that the industry cannot wait to embrace this much-needed transformation and take action. “”We all believe in appropriate, comprehensive care for everyone, anywhere,” said Zimmerman. “It is both an economic and moral imperative to address these issues right now. Nobody is going to do it for us. We have to work together to achieve this better world as quickly as possible because patients depend on it.”

To learn more, download the full roundtable report here.

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