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Nearly 80% of Execs See ROI from Clinical Surveillance Tools

Most healthcare executives see a return on investment from clinical surveillance tools, but some believe that EHR solutions aren’t meeting all their data analytics needs.

Nearly 80 percent of executives see ROI from clinical surveillance tools

Source: Thinkstock

By Jessica Kent

- Healthcare executives are generally seeing a return on investment (ROI) from their clinical surveillance tools, revealed a survey conducted by Sage Growth Partners (SGP) and commissioned by VigiLanz.

However, some believe that solutions built into their electronic health records (EHRs) aren’t satisfying all their data analytics needs.

Ninety-six percent of executives said they are using some sort of clinical surveillance solution, whether in-house, from a third-party, or as part of their EHR.

Seventy-nine percent of executives said they believe there is ROI from clinical surveillance technology. Moreover, ninety-two percent said their clinical surveillance tools definitely or probably help them improve quality.

Eighty-eight percent said that clinical surveillance is either extremely, very, or moderately important to their organization.

Researchers surveyed 100 healthcare executives from hospitals across the country to assess the industry’s progress with the shift to value-based care. The team set out to evaluate how organizations are using data analytics, EHRs, and clinical surveillance tools to support their efforts.

When asked to identify the main ways clinical surveillance tools will be most helpful, executives said detecting adverse drug events was number one, while advancing antibiotic stewardship was number two. Patient safety alerts, inpatient infection prevention, and readmission management were other top responses.

Twenty-three percent of respondents said that at least 31 percent of their revenue will be tied to value in 2019.  Of these executives, six percent said that more than half of their revenue will be tied to value.

Although many hospitals are ramping up their value-based efforts, the results indicate that those using a third-party solution are tying more of their revenue to value-based contracts.

“As hospitals continue to take on more value-based payment models, their ROI for clinical surveillance will grow,” said David Goldsteen, MD, CEO of VigiLanz.

“At the same time, our survey showed that those who use a third-party solution for clinical surveillance are also more involved in value-based payment models, suggesting that they view clinical surveillance as a key lever for their success.”

Of those executives who use a third-party solution for clinical surveillance, more than one-third said that over 31 percent of their revenue would be tied to value-based contracts in 2019, while just 15 percent of respondents who use their EHR for clinical surveillance said the same.

The results also indicated that EHRs may not be meeting hospitals’ data analytics and clinical surveillance needs. Seventy-one percent said that they have invested in additional technology solutions to help them synthesize and understand EHR data.

While these results indicate that many organizations are having trouble generating actionable clinical insights from their EHR data, respondents reported that they are leveraging their EHRs for this purpose more than anything else.

Forty percent of executives said they use their EHR for clinical data analytics, while 27 percent use it for financial data analytics and 26 percent use it for operational data analytics.

Just five percent said their EHR doesn’t offer any of these data analytics capabilities, and only two percent said they don’t leverage their EHR’s data analytics capabilities.

Of those respondents who do use the clinical analytics capabilities of their EHRs, 29 percent said it works extremely or very well, while 49 percent said it works moderately well. Twenty-two percent said it works only slightly well or not well at all.

These findings align with a recent report from KLAS, which found that while clinical surveillance products and technology have proven to be effective, some users still have difficulties implementing or optimizing these tools.

Going forward, executives may turn to analytics solutions outside of the EHR, whether from third-party vendors or other in-house strategies.

“I believe that we will only continue to see hospital leaders and physicians choose these solutions for a broader spectrum of patient care insights than is available through EHRs,” said Goldsteen.

“These insights lead to more optimal care decisions that help them meet quality and cost targets and will lead to greater success under value-based payment models now and in the future.”

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