The healthcare industry is very broad with new fields being explored and studied every day. If you are a medical practitioner, you always have to keep learning and Sharpening Your Knowledge of Healthcare if you want to stay relevant. With so many important areas of the healthcare industry, there are some that are more popular and developed than other. There are also some that have to be understood as they contain fundamental concepts that serve as a foundation for other medical learning. Two of these such areas are evidence-based medicine and population health.
Evidence-based medicine is practiced in many other methods, too. Due to the amount of data and studies that are being performed on a daily basis, it is impossible for healthcare professionals to read up and know best-practices for medicine, yet being a part of an organization that integrates new and proven knowledge into the care of their patients makes it easier to achieve better outcomes for patients and also to work within the guidelines of being an evidence-based practice.
What this means is that a doctor doesn’t need to read all the information that is being generated by studies, but to utilize the healthcare information system to pull up specific treatments and practices for specific patients. The information system should hold the actual details, and the doctor can then work off of proven experience, even if it was he or she that had gone through the process of treatment with a previous patient.
One of the best ways to provide evidence-based medicine is to use transparency within an organization. Transparency opens the doors to allow everyone involved to see the process by which everything is happening, but also holds decision-makers with a sense of accountability. However, when everything is out in the open, the reasoning behind process steps is more easily explainable, justified and gauged against some level of uncertainty.
This doesn’t just apply to the medicine or medical side of care, but also the cost of care. The financial aspect is always a tricky discussion due to the sheer amount of money spent and invested in the healthcare industry. Patients and outsiders feel that costs have skyrocketed and cannot be justified. Healthcare professionals are working with new technology and an inflationary rate of cost. When both parties are able to understand through transparency workings, acceptance of procedural steps can take place more effectively.
Just as medicine has moved from medieval practices to the fact- and evidence-based practices shows that healthcare is not linear but flexible. This doesn’t mean that because one person has proven a theory to be true that not everyone rushes in to accept the new answer. Evidence-based medicine in only in its infantile stages, with much more to prove and much more to provide. However, when a science such as healthcare is able to work with verifiable improvements in patient care, the likelihood of more positive outcomes is achieved.
The health of a population is ever changing and has many things that influence it, directly and indirectly. There are also large-scale populations, yet what is most important is the outcome of that defined population. The management of a population’s health has a lot to do with the ability for people to get help as they need it, identifying those that are at high risk for health issues, and doing this in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
Relation with Analytics
Taking care of patients is the job of medical professionals, but how can they do it better? Simply put; Analytics. Healthcare analytics is the combining of clinical data and claims data, which provides actionable data. It truly isn’t enough to mend a broken arm, or prescribe medications when necessary; now, healthcare organizations need a window into the future to prevent populations from becoming avoidably sick or bogging down the healthcare system.
What analytics does with the data being stored is used it to recognize where there are gaps in care, find insights into better care, resolve problematic zones of care and provide understanding into the cost of care. It is impossible to go through all of the data that is generated daily or to find significant patterns that deliver discernable areas of interest. Instead, population health analytics rely upon as many other tools as possible
Population Health Analytics
When looking at single line items and trying to figure out where improvements and changes need to be made, you’d drive yourself crazy. Rather, the focus should be placed into three bigger categories that address all the above-listed items and many more.
The content system takes all the evidence gathered through evaluation and maps out best practices for an organization.
The Deployment System develops teams with specific structure and roles in order to implement changes, make judgment calls, and improve the establishment as a whole.