Kurt Salmon’s Elaine Remmlinger and Robin Settle recently attended the New Jersey HIMSS Spring Event, addressing how hospitals and health care systems can leverage technology to improve a patient’s journey along the care continuum. Elaine and Robin share findings from their presentation, Emerging Technologies That Support Transitions of Care, below. 

What insights did you share?

Advancements in technology are blurring the lines along today’s health care continuum, and health systems are quickly realizing that transitions of care must be coordinated not just among a single provider’s departments, but across multiple providers. Performance-based reimbursement and shared-risk arrangements are incompatible with lingering care delivery siloes, driving the need to improve health IT interoperability and to better manage care transitions. Doing so requires the strategic adoption and integration of multiple technologies related to health information exchange, population health, telehealth and electronic health records (EHRs).

What new thinking emerged?

While many hospitals and health systems have implemented various technologies in response to meaningful use directives, these were often added as one-off solutions, weren’t well coordinated or integrated, and haven’t always been leveraged to achieve their full capabilities.

Today, there are a number of technology players—both dominant and emerging—in population health and data analytics, telehealth, health information exchanges, and EHRs. As digital health tools, innovative capabilities and demands for connectivity continue to evolve, this marketplace will start to consolidate. Innovation will continue to become more agile, seamless and coordinated as technology standards and the market mature.

What resonated most with the audience?

With a large number of health IT vendors in, and entering, the marketplace, care transition is ripe for a technological leap forward. Telehealth, in particular, is growing at an exponential rate, simultaneously enabling care providers to facilitate patient care transitions across expanded geographies and address provider shortages. However, health care systems will experience various challenges—including those related to reimbursement models and return on investment. As technology and innovation continue to evolve, health systems will be better able to create more effective care transitions and thus drive down overall costs while improving patient trust and experience. 

8 June 2016