Each year, billions of pieces of health data are generated as patients visit the doctor’s office, go to the ER, undergo procedures and answer the requisite personal questions at each location. That doesn’t include the volumes of patient data generated by health plans, pharmacies, labs or even the patients themselves. Alarmingly, the majority of this data is not easily transferred, shared or made actionable.
The price we pay? An astounding $404 billion for poor healthcare coordination as shown in this The Price We Pay for a Broken Healthcare System infographic. In a more light-hearted attempt to exemplify the many issues, challenges and frustrations associated with the lack of health data coordination, Jonathan Rauch of The National Journal brings to life the inexcusable state of healthcare coordination today (you can access the video too.)
All healthcare stakeholders – patients, providers and health plans, are challenged by the lack of interoperability and high administrative costs associated with simple tasks such as scheduling patient appointments. A Markle Survey identified that close to 80% of both the public and doctors want hospitals and doctors to share information to better coordinate care, cut unnecessary costs and reduce medical errors. One Marlin & Associates report identified the high costs associated with manual administrative transactions and the use of paper records – a staggering $150 Billion per year.
Healthcare reform is attempting to tackle the many challenges associated with delivery of care today, not the least of which is the digitalization of patients’ medical records. There are also a number of developments put in motion with the explicit effort to streamline data, improve care outcomes and reduce costs, such as Meaningful Use requirements for EHR adoption, the popularity of PCMHs and various ACO initiatives across the country. A number of organizations are coming together to tackle the data exchange and coordination issue, such as the Care Connectivity Consortium, a consortium of five organizations focused on accelerating interoperability, and The Direct Project, which facilitates direct, paperless communications.
As we look to the future, health systems and health communications will need to be integrated across IT systems, providers, specialists’ offices, labs and health plans. Data needs to be mobile, secure and efficient. This is why we are excited about the increased traction of a new approach to health information management – unified patient information management or UPIM.
Systems for UPIM provide single-source access to patients’ administrative, clinical and financial information from health plans, physicians, service providers and other data sources. Physicians and healthcare professionals log into one system, giving them the ability to access and navigate multiple applications. In the process, patient information is made available to the right stakeholder at the right time throughout the care continuum and over the course of the patient’s life. In the remainder of this series, we will explore in depth how a unified approach to patient information management positively affects each of the key healthcare stakeholders.
Kimberly Labow is the chief marketing officer, overseeing all marketing and product management responsibilities for NaviNet. She has over 19 years of technology marketing experience in a variety of industries, including healthcare, and brings to NaviNet an in-depth understanding of the healthcare connectivity marketplace.
Before joining NaviNet, Ms. Labow was vice president, marketing and product management for Medfusion, where she was responsible for all aspects of both marketing and product management. Her team was engaged not only with direct marketing activities for Medfusion, but in the overall efforts to aid Medfusion’s clients in the marketing of their practices to drive ultimate utilization of their Medfusion healthcare solutions from new and existing patients.
Prior to joining Medfusion, Ms. Labow was vice president, marketing and product management for Performix Technologies where she was an integral part of the management team that led Performix to a successful sale of the company to NICE Systems in 2007.
Prior to Performix, Ms. Labow spent four years at Progress Software where she built and managed teams for both services marketing and offering management and later product marketing. Ms. Labow’s healthcare experience includes several years as marketing manager for Kronos’ healthcare systems division, as well as owning product management for PCN’s EHR product HealthPoint (now Allscripts’ HealthMatics EHR).
Ms. Labow has a B.A from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and an M.B.A from Northeastern University in Boston.