Guest Column | December 5, 2016

Picking The Right Data Tools Is Key To Success In Value-Based Care

Data Analytics

By Andrew Clement is the director of operations at OBERD

Value-based healthcare is patient-centric, meaning how patients feel about their own conditions — including quality of life and care satisfaction — should be integral parts of their healthcare data set. Future success in value-based healthcare relies on giving patients the opportunity and capability to report relevant, actionable health information.

Under the old pay-for-service model, reimbursement was based solely on the volume of treatments and services rendered. Under the new value-based model, reimbursement will significantly rely on patient-reported outcomes. Therefore, effective patient engagement and data collection are vital for gaining a more comprehensive view of a patient’s well-being.

Why Smart Data Collection Is Essential

Information about a patient’s care encompasses the full care cycle and combines provider-recorded clinical data with information reported by the patient, reinforcing a collaborative and communicative healthcare process.

Empowering patients to articulate their desired outcomes helps them set their own expectations of what treatment success means within the context of their unique situations. Close collaboration with their physicians and providers makes that success a more concrete and achievable goal.

The aggregation of this data also enables providers to glean insight and provide a platform for a more preventive approach to patients’ overall health. Effective data collection allows providers to benchmark patient information against other patients in comparable cohort groups. This process can reveal deeper insights into treatment best practices and help develop more precise expectations for length of recovery.

In addition to improved quality of care, there are several other reasons why the collection of patient-reported outcomes must be built seamlessly into every clinical workflow. For instance, every provider’s bottom line is directly impacted by the completeness and scope of its data collection strategy.

Computing Medicare reimbursement adjustments requires information gathered from patients on a host of outcome topics. For the first performance year of MIPS, patient-derived outcomes will drive 60 percent of a provider’s Medicare reimbursement score. Rather than wait until the end of a performance year to learn how patients are assessing their care, real-time auditing of patient reports will allow for the proactive recalibration of patient care as needed.

Besides providing a powerful tool to fully understand a patient’s progress, benchmarking that patient’s information against a large database of similarly situated individuals also advances the growth of clinical registries. Adding a patient’s progress information to the growing pool of plan care options can improve overall population health assessment tools.

Steps For Better Collecting And Leveraging Data

Patient outcomes data, along with clinical information shared with patients by providers, provides the foundation for meaningful and sustainable patient-provider engagement. You can improve your methods of data collection and leverage that data more effectively by following these four steps:

  1. Curate the right outcomes measurement instruments. Look for outcomes measurement tools that have garnered consensus recommendation. Careful selection of the measurement tools you use to collect outcomes data will enable you to more easily aggregate that data in clinical registries for benchmarking and research purposes.

Medical specialty societies, such as the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, have cultivated guidelines for outcomes measurement tools, such as AAOS’ published Instruments for Collection of Orthopaedic Quality Data. Global initiatives to settle on common measurements are another valuable resource. These include the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) and the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM).

  1. Increase user compliance by focusing on user experience. Consider patient outcomes measurement instruments that offer a compelling user experience (which will translate into higher compliance rates) and are capable of quantifying patient engagement with outcomes measurement tools. Paper forms do not have the capability to engage and drive patient compliance, especially compared to electronic designs with heightened attention to user interface and user experience design principles.

In a world where everything is online, patients are surprisingly more enthusiastic about engaging with new healthcare technologies than experts predicted they would be. In fact, more than a third of patients have reacted positively to the impact of technology on their healthcare engagement, from scheduling appointments to accessing their medical records remotely.

  1. Leverage tools that offer multiple insights into collected outcomes data. Choose data collection and analysis tools that offer inventive capabilities to manage, analyze, and share patient outcomes data on an individual and collective scale. Look to tools that enable the seamless importation of historical data, including scores, demographics, and EMRs. Emerging best-in-class extensible technologies offer actionable feedback loops in real (or nearly real) time to compare raw data against high-level aggregate information.

With the increased importance that value-based care places on patient-reported outcomes measurements, particularly in calculating reimbursement amounts, the ability to access the real-time status of MIPS-related quality performance reports enables providers to audit and iterate processes throughout a performance period.

  1. Watch for emerging outcomes measurement technologies. Work with a healthcare IT firm that offers solutions for easily integrating new technologies, and keep an eye out for emerging tech that can further enhance your ability to collect outcomes data. A new generation of wearable technologies is already transforming data collection methods; as technology continues to evolve, your success will depend on evolving along with it.

Patient outcomes data can create a picture over time of an individual’s participation in his or her own healthcare, and that participation should be placed at the core of the provider-patient relationship. Viewing collective patient outcomes data also helps prospective patients select providers based on previous satisfaction reports.

With reimbursements and patient population health at stake, the transition to value-based healthcare underscores the importance of identifying and executing actionable plans to collect and leverage outcomes data.

About The Author

Andrew Clement is the director of operations at OBERD. As a former registered nurse, Andrew helps guide OBERD to ensure it delivers patient-centric products and services to its customers. Patient-reported outcomes data collection is core to OBERD's patented software solution. Andrew works with a multispecialty team to provide healthcare systems with the innovative data solutions they will need in the future as the industry transitions toward value-based care.