The next three years will see “major transformation” in healthcare delivery and reimbursement, driven by a 1,400 percent increase in data generation compared to 2013, according to a white paper recently reported by EHRIntelligence.
That’s good news in our value-based environment, “where payment is tied to clinical efficiency and patient outcomes.” But are we ready? Right now, according to the study, “healthcare data fragmentation is problematic. Clinicians need access to more data sources and analytics to generate insights and determine the most efficacious treatment for their patients.”
The problem is that we have arrived in the future. After years of study, development, and investment, “the healthcare industry is set to produce large volumes of digital data over the next few years,” predicts Dell Technologies, which prepared the paper.
It’s estimated that in 2017 healthcare will produce 150 exabytes of data. An exabyte is equal to one quintillion bytes (10 raised to the 18th power). By 2020, that figure will increase to 2,314 exabytes of data, predicts Dell and International Data Corporation.
Adding to the pressure, “in 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services set goals for shifting half of all Medicare payments to alternative payment models and value-based reimbursement by 2018.”
Already, “distributing and managing claim payments in the constantly evolving healthcare landscape is incredibly complex,” agrees an independent assessment at HealthPayerIntelligence. The assessment is based in part on a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
In the future, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services advise, “All alternative payment models and payment reforms that seek to deliver better care at lower cost share a common pathway for success: providers must make fundamental changes in their day-to-day operations that improve the quality and reduce the cost of health care.”
While providers must optimize IT infrastructure to meet demands of current and future models of patient-centered, value-based care, “healthcare organizations are advised against migrating all data at once because of the expense and risk involved,” advises the white paper. “Ultimately, provider organizations should seek to create future-proof infrastructure that is flexible enough to support a broad range of anticipated performance demands,” such as changing clinical-workflow, the pending next level of data analytics, and expansion to the cloud.
“To achieve these goals, organizations may wish to partner with infrastructure development vendors who can help them to scale their architecture without downtime and consolidate without detracting from day-to-day performance while reducing or eliminating the burdens of future migrations.”
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