Although the Affordable Care Act now offers individuals greatly expanded access to health coverage, simply having an insurance card does not guarantee access to high-quality health care.
Effective medical treatment requires that physicians apply the best available evidence, rely on their clinical expertise, and consider individual patient preferences and values to make decisions about patient care. Yet across most areas of medicine, practice consistently lags behind evidence. Even when physicians have access to evidence in usable formats, like clinical practice guidelines, it can take more than five years for them to adopt these guidelines into routine clinical practice.
With the ongoing shift from volume to value in today’s health care environment, providers are increasingly focusing on the need to involve the patient at all points of the health care continuum. Increasingly, health insurance programs (public and private) and health care providers are adding patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures, in addition to the clinical aspects of measuring health and treatment options, to improve the quality and effectiveness of the care that patients receive.
Quality measurement uses data to evaluate the performance of health plans and providers. Learn how the health care field is using this data to measure and improve the quality of health care that patients receive.
In sectors from banking to car maintenance, immediate electronic access to data is the industry standard. The health care sector is different. Old-fashioned paper records are still the norm in most doctors’ practices across the country, and the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) has been slow even in hospitals.
The health care sector’s reliance on paper charts makes it difficult for health care providers to track patient information over time and share this information with other providers. It also makes administrative tasks such as billing more challenging. As a result, the system isn’t as safe, efficient, or effective as it could be.
Health information technology (HealthIT) offers many powerful tools in the fight to eliminate disparities in the delivery of care and health outcomes. From identifying variation in care delivery and outcomes by demographic group to harnessing the power of mobile devices to collect and share health data, the opportunities to leverage HealthIT in the promotion of health equity are plentiful.
Defines what quality health care is and explains why measuring health care quality is important. Discusses five ways that quality measurement can improve health care.
Today, we’re kicking off an occasional series of posts that will focus on the intersection of health and technology. Over the coming months, we’ll explore ways in which technology is helping to improve the way that doctors and other providers deliver health care to their patients.
In this first post, we’re going to explore how telemedicine can be used to increase access to specialist care. In future posts, we’ll explore topics that range from pills with sensors that track when they have been swallowed to electronic health records.
Today, we’re kicking off a series of blogs that examine the intersection between health and technology. Why? In many ways, the U.S. health care system has been remarkably conservative when it comes to technology. We know that the health care field is often quick to adopt innovative treatments for disease and illness.
Earlier this month, a federal district court judge in Idaho examined whether a merger between a large hospital system, St. Luke’s, and the state’s largest independent network of doctors would create monopoly conditions. This proposed merger underscores a growing trend in the health care industry: because it’s easier and more cost effective to coordinate patient care when hospitals, specialists, and primary care doctors are part of one unified system that is financially and clinically integrated, we’re seeing more hospital and provider groups merging.