The Promise of Population Health is Broken by Gaps in Patient Care

Gaps in patient care—the difference between the care a patient needs compared to the care they receive—cost the U.S. healthcare system millions annually, waste significant healthcare resources, contribute to declining health and preventable diseases, and significantly hamper health systems efforts to achieve the promise of population health.

More than 40 percent of U.S. adults delayed or avoided medical care in June 2020, according to a weekly report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now, nearly a year-and-a-half later, pandemic-induced delays in preventive care and routine screenings continue to exacerbate patient care gaps.

These gaps are experiencing double-digit growth. The Urban Institute’s April 2021 Health Reform Monitoring Survey revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact care as 11 percent of adults have reported coronavirus concerns prevented them from seeking care for a health condition or concern.

The consequences of patient care gaps, including missed routine screenings, in-office procedures, and vaccines, are far reaching and dangerous. In some cases, these care delays require unnecessary patient visits, and in worse cases, compromise patients’ health. These gaps in care lessen patients’ trust in the care team, lower patient and provider satisfaction, and increase costs for the patient and health system.

Further, organizations’ efforts to juggle care delivery for patients with COVID-19 in a new healthcare landscape while playing catch-up with patients who have fallen behind in their standard care treatments is adding to existing provider burnout.

Robust and efficient data infrastructure can help ease these mounting pressures. With patients’ health on the line, healthcare organizations cannot afford to operate on inefficient care processes and guesswork. Yet, many systems do just that because they lack a supportive data infrastructure to deliver relevant patient insight to clinicians at the point of care.

However difficult these established, and pandemic-related challenges may seem, healthcare organizations must find their way out of the data abyss and reach more patients with a data-powered solution that puts patients first. An integration engine that delivers analytic insight directly into the electronic health record (EHR)workflow empowers clinicians to close patient care gaps in real time and deliver better, more cost-effective care.

Organizations increasingly need automated tools to relieve provider burdens and still deliver high-value patient care. By delivering the right insight, for the right patient, at the right time, clinicians can close gaps in patient care, maximize every patient visit, and operate at the top of their license.

These data-driven insights offer additional benefits as surfacing care gap information, related to regulatory measures used in value-based programs, assists providers in closing gaps at the point of care and help their organizations qualify for incentives and avoid costly penalties.

An automated, proactive approach saves time and reduces the clinicians’ administrative workload. This helps providers deliver better care before, during, and after the patient visit. Organizations are empowered to easily track measures and requirements year-round, avoiding a last-minute scramble before measures deadlines.

Most importantly, patients receive more complete care and more efficient, well-planned visits. These enhanced patient-clinician interactions increase patient trust and confidence in the care team, thereby boosting likelihood of adhering to the care plan.

Easy access to timely, accurate insight allows organizations to increase revenue by performing appropriate procedures, decreases costs by streamlining visits, and improves each patient’s quality of life. With critical patient insight at their fingertips, clinicians can close gaps in patient care and maximize the value of every patient visit.

The editorial staff had no role in this post's creation.