IT adoption lagging in population health initiatives

A majority of healthcare organizations embarking on population health initiatives are doing so without an IT solution in place, according to a HIMSS Analytics survey.

HIMSS polled nearly 200 healthcare executives about how they're going about improving care for various populations they serve. While momentum is growing for such initiatives, adoption of an IT solution remains in the early stages, the survey finds. In fact, just 25 percent of organizations with initiatives in place currently use one.

Organizations indicated that the most useful areas for IT solutions for population health would be in business intelligence and analytics reporting, data warehouse and aggregation and a patient dashboard or scorecard. However, respondents expressed a high level of uncertainty about using a vendor solution to meet their future population health needs.

Among the findings:

  • Overall just over 65 percent of respondents have population health initiatives in place
  • More than half of those without current initiatives plan to begin such programs in the future
  • Most organizations have focused their efforts on chronic disease management (83 percent of respondents with initiatives in place) and wellness/preventive health (82 percent)

Brent Egan, M.D., medical director of the nonprofit Greenville, South Carolina-based Care Coordination Institute (CCI), recently touted technology's role in population health in an interview at Becker's Hospital Review. Among the core competencies in which technology is vital, he says, are: risk stratification of patients; capturing real-time information from multiple sources and supporting ongoing integration of care among providers; and providing a complete view of the population.

However, interoperability and data integration issues remain barriers, according to a recent eHealth Initiative population health survey.

To learn more:
- here's the survey