Christie then updated the group on some of the major policy initiatives that are pushing for price transparency and interoperability. The panel agreed that policy initiatives are just the starting point in terms of getting patient data to where it needs to be. Sam noted that as organizations move into value-based arrangements, incentives for care quality and/or cost reduction will become essential to drive the right provider behaviors.
Jim then shared his thoughts about workflow improvement opportunities. “If we are able to get providers the right data at the right time, we can make the patient encounter more efficient and everyone can be working at the peak of their license.” He emphasized that delivering accurate information that providers can understand is the best way to simplify workflows and drive better care. The panel acknowledged that providers shouldn’t have to worry about payer coverage networks, connectivity, or deciphering pricing data. The information shown should be inserted when it’s needed, it should be easy to digest, and it should support the provider’s decision making process.
Sara added, “with better data and tools, providers will have fewer time-consuming tasks on their plates so they can focus more on the sacred patient encounter.”
Collaboration and the Future of Shared Decision Making
The conversation then transitioned, and the group spoke briefly about the necessity for collaboration across the industry. Christie noted the importance of plans, EHR vendors, and provider organizations coming together to improve access to data. The benefits are widespread, but the conversation centered around the patient and how better data can enable lower-cost care, increased access to care options, and improved outcomes.
Finally, the panelists looked to the future and surmised what might come of decision support tools in the years to come. They agreed that patient care must continue to be personalized and unique. In order to accomplish this, the data and tools being leveraged in the exam room need to be real-time, patient-specific, and accurate. Sara noted that the next iteration of this work will likely focus on patient access to data and apps that inform patients of their specific coverage and cost. The call ended with Christie sharing her aspirations for a truly open network of payers, providers, and technology vendors who work together to get each patient the best care possible, at an affordable cost.
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