Analytics key to population health management at St. Vincent's

Analytics tools are the key to advancing change and achieving population health management goals at St. Vincent's Health Partners in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The organization uses its analytics system to get data on practice management, claims-based and electronic health record (EHR) systems, St. Vincent's Health Partners' CIO and CMIO Michael Hunt, told Healthcare Informatics. It then analyzes the information and creates monthly data reports for each member of the organization, he said.

 "We used a multi-varied analysis to really identify those patients with risk and hand that information to the physicians and their staff on a monthly basis," Hunt said.

Using that information, Hunt or another leader in the organization can evaluate physicians through performance score cards and then meet with physicians to let them know where they need improvement.

However, the process is not always a smooth one. St. Vincent's uses many different EHR and practice management systems. It takes some finesse to hook up the varying data sources to the analytics platform for the different practices, Hunt said. He also must act as a translator to the physicians to get them to understand the importance of aggressive population health management.

 "We've really had to educate that technology isn't just a turn on. There are so many myths and mythologies on information technology. Most people don't appreciate the expertise and time required to make technology work," he said.

But when it comes to using data to improve healthcare and cut costs, developing winning public policy requires making the case with real-life examples showing how data-sharing led to improvements, according to a new Health Affairs article.

To learn more:
- check out the Healthcare Informatics article