There is a significant transformation taking place in the way we deliver healthcare, and it is being largely driven by technology. Big Data, cloud computing, and mobile health apps, among many others, will soon be transforming underlying service delivery models as well. This dynamic becomes all the more important when we take into consideration the catalyzing effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the importance of technology has been dramatically emphasized and prioritized. Health organizations are beginning to recognize the impact of digital change on how patient care is delivered in conjunction with interoperability. The beauty of an entire US healthcare system that is digital and integrated would be one to behold, and it would lead to improved care across the board along with superior patient outcomes.
Technology has not only transformed the way we deliver healthcare, but it has also allowed the system to become more efficient and cost-effective for consumers as well as providers. Ultimately, greater technological innovation is needed to ensure the sustainability of accountable care models. The development and promotion of evidence-based medicine include the need for an infrastructure that allows Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) to collect and evaluate data, provide feedback to ACO participants, and influence the care of the organization members.
We frequently hear about innovative business models, customer involvement, cost reductions, and data analysis in the context of digital change and the introduction of the Internet of Things in healthcare. New digital technologies can improve outcomes, reduce costs, improve patient and provider experience, and provide real added value. It is believed that healthcare systems, provided the right strategic thinking, can help consumers with the integrated and seamless experience they expect and deserve from other industries.
Current contributions to health IT provide a starting point for meeting the basic technical requirements that need to be met to some extent. For example, existing hospital information systems (e.g. Electronic Medical Records) and Health Information Exchange (HIE) systems have the necessary functionality to support the management and operation of clinical objectives. Most current technologies are designed to capture patient care information about episodes of care, not time constraints, care settings, or organizational boundaries.
In contrast, the success of the ACO model depends on the development of end-to-end technologies that support the electronic exchange of clinical information and longitudinal data, coordination of care in acute outpatient settings, and reporting on payment distribution and data collection to measure progress toward these goals. The purpose of the ACO model is to facilitate coordination of care, enable patients to receive the proper treatment at the right time, and reduce the risk of medical errors and duplication of services.