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It is clear to most decision-makers in the health care industry that future services will be determined and guided by analytics that measure outcomes, costs, preventive benefits and patient satisfaction.
In Rhode Island, considered to be one of the leading states in innovation and the adoption of a patient-centric model of health care, according to Dr. Michael Fine, director of the R.I. Department of Health, there are several – six to eight, depending on how you count them – such analytic engines being deployed.
The landscape is a wide-open, technological playing field. Competitors include software companies, hospitals, for-profit health insurance companies, nonprofit health insurers, government agencies, group practices and community health centers.
At one end of the spectrum is Lifespan, the state’s largest hospital network, which is investing more than $100 million over the next four years to build a new model of patient-centric care, at the heart of which is a new health IT platform being built around the Epic software system.
“What we’re doing at Lifespan is creating a system of care to improve patient health,” Dr. Timothy J. Babineau, president and CEO of the health care system, told Providence Business News. Babineau stressed that the effort was not about installing a new IT system but rather redesigning the way in which health care was delivered, centered on the needs of the patient.
“At its fundamental centerpiece, medicine and health care are about the exchange of information at the point of care, so that our providers have the information to make real-time decisions.” The new system of care, Babineau continued, “is how we move from volume to value.”
At the other end, in terms of size and how far along they are in successfully using analytics to generate savings, is Blackstone Valley Community Health Center. The center has achieved a sophisticated deployment of health IT data integrated at the point of care, using NextGen software.
Employing a patient-centered, team approach to health care, Blackstone in 2011 generated savings of more than $5 million for its patient base of about 11,000 individuals. “Providers – doctors, nurses, physician assistants – have lost the artfulness of medicine with the dawn of the electronic age,” said Raymond Lavoie, Blackstone’s executive director, explaining Blackstone’s philosophy in how the center deploys its health IT.