As the new year begins, health IT (HIT) companies are looking forward to the first, fast-approaching major industry event of 2019: HIMSS, a professional health and technology conference expected to draw more than 45,000 attendees in February.
With an audience of provider groups, health systems and HIT vendors among others, we anticipate a focus on how technology is transforming the patient as well as the clinician experience to be more connected, collaborative and modernized, with a growing market expectation that HIT products take their cues from leading consumer products across various industries. Given the direction of the market, we expect the following themes to be front and center during HIMSS:
Providers and Clinicians as Payer Partners
It’s no secret that with the shift towards value-based care, providers as well as other clinicians and care managers have a vested interest in sharing patient or member data. Rather than leave patient data analysis up to their payer partners while focusing solely on clinical care, providers are moving to understand the whole patient experience and retain business by offering their patients care that brings them true value for their money.
Providers have clear financial incentive to seek a more collaborative and data-heavy relationship with payers and patients: in 2017, more than a third of healthcare payments were tied to value-based care, a system that favors providers who can deliver strong health outcomes within budget. Providers at large health systems may be further incented to more deeply know their patients in a push to succeed in value-based models, as major health systems have moved nearly half of their business to value-based arrangements.
At HIMSS, expect vendors to highlight solutions that allow providers at consolidated health systems or those in arrangements like ACOs to have a clearer view into patient retention, tailored slices of payer data and patient preference. Given the industry’s growing focus on physician satisfaction, some vendors also will showcase how their solution reduces the administrative burden on clinicians.
Related to this idea of providers and payers as partners, expect patient experience to be central to HIMSS discussions. Patient experience and the consumerization of health have driven industry conversations for several years now, but solutions that actually focus on a 360-degree view of the patient are now finally starting to mature in response to buyer demand.
Patient care must be accessible, connected, and personalized; as a recent article about the patient experience in Forbes argues, “Modern customers crave digital interactions.” Older solutions like portals unable to deliver this truly connected patient experience are being replaced by large-scale, end-to-end digital investments that provider organizations and health systems are making an effort to offer their patients - “one digital front door.”
At HIMSS, look for hints about the future of patient experience across topic areas such as consumerism, telehealth, care coordination, customer relationship management in healthcare and social determinants of health.
AI and Machine Learning
AI is crucial to the predictive and population health technologies showcased at HIMSS, and adoption of these solutions is only accelerating. According to IDC, 70 percent of CIOs will “aggressively apply data and AI to IT operations, tools, and processes by 2021,” with hospital leaders a key part of this growing AI investment.
At HIMSS, look for a number of solutions that support providers and health system staff in their daily activities and decision-making processes. For instance, during 2018, there was a constant stream of news about the power of voice-enabled technology for healthcare, including chatbots. Chatbots and virtual assistants can help with tasks such as EHR mining and notetaking for providers, or patient engagement guides. Other AI-related tool announcements to watch for at HIMSS include blockchain and natural language processing offerings; 2018 closed out with a few notable acquisitions across these areas.
Expanded Definition of Population Health
As a population health company, we at Geneia have a strong vision for what the future of population health looks like, and its likely attendees will also see a more expansive definition of what constitutes population health.
At HIMSS, look for a growing focus on health value and well-being. Key to population health efforts is keeping the healthy healthy; though these patients are not high-cost yet, personalized well-being that emphasizes convenience—which could include IoT devices such as wearables or benefits such as virtual health visits—is important to ongoing engagement and positive outcomes. Population health vendors are increasingly concerning themselves with measuring and reacting to patient engagement findings, as mitigating disease progression starts with an individual’s ability and desire to practice certain behaviors.
We also expect hospital and health system attendees at HIMSS will want to understand how expanded population health analytic capabilities can help them get an end-to-end view of their organization’s performance, going beyond quality and cost outcomes. Expect to discuss integrated solutions that highlight areas such as safety, staffing and operations. Population health is quickly becoming more than access to data about risk stratified groups, gaps in care and quality performance; buyers expect their vendors to translate that data into actionable analytics that help them prioritize their biggest opportunities for improvement and success across their entire organization.
Overall, we expect that attendees at HIMSS this year will learn the many ways HIT solutions are driving more collaborative, coordinated approaches to patient care across the entire healthcare landscape.
Visit us at HIMSS booth #541 to learn more about Geneia’s solutions.