- The successful adoption of technological innovations in big data analytics, precision medicine, and digital health will increase quality care, according to a health policy statement from the American College of Cardiology (ACC).
During an ACC summit in 2016, attendees discussed how to best implement new technological innovations within healthcare organizations, and how these innovations will lead to care that is increasingly value-based and patient-centric.
“The roles of digital technologies, big data, and precision health in healthcare are rapidly shifting from drivers of marginal efficiency to enablers of fundamental innovation,” the College writes.
“It is important for the healthcare enterprise to embrace these changes and to organize its efforts to provide meaningful knowledge translation to meet its stakeholders’ objectives.”
Patient, clinician-focused implementation
The College stresses that healthcare innovation strategies should focus on fostering intuitive workflows and increasing patient engagement.
“A model for healthcare innovation that is focused on human-centered design is not only critical, but is also an opportunity to develop new competencies that align with a rapidly changing healthcare environment,” the College states.
“This strategy is fundamentally different from a ‘technology-leading’ strategy, which is pursued in search of a clinical problem and where new innovations are designed to disrupt healthcare processes by introducing new devices and data for consumer engagement and discovery.”
Patient-focused and clinician-focused strategies can help identify the resources and people needed to implement new patient care innovations, the College notes. They also write that human-centric strategies can benefit chronic disease management and rising costs of care.
Improved patient engagement
Keeping patients at the center of the innovation conversation will be vital for ensuring that new strategies meet their comprehensive needs.
“In contrast to viewing the position of patients as ‘end-users’ of healthcare delivery and services, engaging patients as ‘partners,’ with a role that is facilitated by increased access, can provide a key accelerant for healthcare transformation,” the College writes.
Additionally, integrating patient-generated health data from different mobile health devices will allow providers to better understand how disease burdens affect patient self-care.
“Such initiatives can also provide information on how new devices are utilized in real-world settings and can provide a digital method to collect and track important patient-reported outcomes for more accurate and real-time assessments of health and disease,” the report said.
The College states that engagement also includes maintaining data privacy and protection, which will become even more important as data moves into nonclinical locations.
“Incentivized approaches that link technology-enabled care with guideline-based measures of clinical performance and value-based reimbursement are potentially practical methods of enhancing user engagement.”
Enhanced clinical workflows with big data, remote care
The College notes that the integration of new technologies, including telehealth or virtual care, can expand care access while streamlining clinical workflows.
“An essential requirement for modifying workflow is the translation of digitally-derived data into clinically useful information,” the College writes.
“These data can include information to facilitate medication adherence, to monitor the trajectory of health status, and for quality improvement initiatives.”
Providers can incorporate data from new technologies into EHRs and existing patient-related data sources to develop models of personalized care.
“This practice would render data available for analysis, thereby facilitating findings that drive efficient patient care and streamline clinical workflows,” the College writes.
Increased access to big data analytics insights
The College writes that data collected from multiple sources, such as EHRs and patient-generated data, may inform the effectiveness of new innovations for clinical practice and public health.
“As patient care and research migrate into digital and cloud-based platforms, it becomes easier to share research results and practice-based observations relating the efficacy, safety, and outcomes of new medical innovations, thereby also promoting transparency of research methodologies,” the College writes.
In addition, big data access can help providers identify patient needs and enhance care efficiency.
“The operational characteristics of data-driven models of care involve organizing datasets derived from patient care, EHRs, and new technologies, and analyzing them to improve quality of care through enhanced clinical prediction, resource optimization, and therapeutic personalization,” the paper says.
The College notes that successful adoption of big data analytics, precision medicine, and digital health will transform the healthcare landscape.
“The application of these new analytical methods to health care can enable us to define the dynamic patterns of health and disease and to create more efficient and sustainable models of care that are driven by data and technology,” they conclude.