EHR reporting: essential features for 2016

It bears repeating that analytics are the future of healthcare. Given the government’s long-term policy commitment to the meaningful use of EHRs and the implementation of ICD-10 code sets, the shift towards value-based and quality-based reimbursement have driven the need for reliable and actionable EHR reporting at the fore.

It should not be a shock to learn that the healthcare analytics market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 26.0 percent through 2020. In the midst of this growth, a number of distinct areas within the healthcare analytics space will become more significant in the coming year as EHR systems becomes more accessible and the rapidly approaching Meaningful Use Stage 3 compliance period spurs growth in the following segments of the healthcare analytics market.

1. Data collection from wearables and medical devices

Using wearables or other medical devices as a tool for data collection presents a massive opportunity for practices to incorporate data collection beyond the clinic space. They allow clinicians to collect a larger and more accurate sample of clinical data. When employed as a method of monitoring chronic disease or vitals, wearables provide a massive opportunity.

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2. Predictive analytics

Descriptive data, offers a snapshot of the present or a way to aggregate past data and identify trends. EHR reporting based on descriptive data may have a ceiling in regards to its ability to better model a patient or patient population’s health. On the other hand, EHR reporting fed by predictive analytics offers sophisticated simulation and modeling techniques that identify trends and portend outcomes of actions taken, particularly in light of future patient health and risk.

3. Cross-continuum analytics

As value-based reimbursement models gain traction, many organizations are being pressed to look not just at the services they offer, but also at the treatments patients receive across the continuum of care. Collaboration between acute, post-acute, and community care providers will also yield valuable data that can measure the efficacy of population based health measures.

4. Population health management

Dovetailing with cross-continuum analytics, population health management based EHR reporting will continue to factor significantly in the collection and analysis of data collected by our healthcare systems. According to a white paper published by medical technology firm McKesson, the over 15.5 million individuals covered under high deductible health plans which are delaying care as long as possible have resulted in an impetus to monitor patient health outside of the four walls of the clinic in order to avoid potential consequences of reduced reimbursement under value and quality based reimbursement schemes. As such, providers have been forced into the business of population health analytics (for altruistic reasons of course, but also as a financial measure to reduce readmission due to chronic conditions.

The main takeaway here rests in the fact that many of the EHR reporting trends for 2016 look similar to those emerging in the previous few years. This similarity is attributed to the slow, incremental fashion in which the EHR market evolves. The trends listed above stand out, due to their consistency and the fact they fit into the larger market and regulatory conditions.

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Jeff Green

About the author…

Jeff Green, MPH, JD works as a freelance writer and consultant in the Healthcare information Technology Space.

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Jeff Green

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