The Advantages of Automation in Population Health Management
The population health management market size is expected to be worth around $184.51 billion by 2030. That’s up from a value of $28.79 billion in 2020.
Why such rapid growth in population health management (PHM)? Some experts cite the continuing adoption of healthcare IT, an increasing number of specialty and multi-chain hospitals and the growing incidence of chronic disorders. Others say the market growth is driven by the rising demand for solutions supporting value-based care delivery by healthcare industry players and the increased demand for effective disease management strategies.
Certainly included in this growth analysis is the increasing use of big data analytics by healthcare providers, along with the seemingly insurmountable task of reducing the United States’ exorbitant healthcare spending. It isn’t solely about numbers, though. PHM also aims to improve clinical treatment of specific groups by promoting better patient outcomes.
The most important strategy for healthcare providers to launch a successful PHM program includes personalized and targeted outreach achieved through automated workflows. These workflows are especially integral for providers to increase capacity in light of the current and projected healthcare staffing shortage.
Optimizing Administrative Workflows
As the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) notes, teams can work at the top of their licenses and better serve patients while reducing the overall cost of care by streamlining cumbersome, manual processes. Of the $372 billion spent on administrative complexity with the U.S. healthcare system, an additional $16.3 billion could be saved through workflow automation, according to the report.
Through automated workflows, a single task or a series of pre-determined ones can be assigned to a patient. Staffing notifications can then be added into an electronic health record (EHR), thereby providing a feedback loop of tasks completion status.
These workflows can be operational (i.e., pre-visit check-in and post-visit quality surveys) or clinical. Examples of clinical workflows for population health include:
- Post-surgery scheduled PROMs
- Quality measures
- Patient education
- High-frequency PHQ-9 screenings for patients diagnosed with depression
- Medicare AWV
Some workflows are payment-focused and designed to collect a patient’s payment before surgery or trigger them to pay by letting them know the exact amount they owe.
Utilizing Outreach Campaigns
Part of the outreach component of PHM should consist of targeted and personalized campaigns. This enables providers to engage patients where they are, increase their patient panel and improve quality performance while markedly reducing necessary staff involvement. It also provides them with enhanced capabilities to provide even better patient care.
Automated outreach campaigns can be utilized to remind female patients about getting their mammogram and all eligible patients about scheduling their AWV and undergoing a high-frequency PHQ-9 screening. Through pre-determined templates, providers can utilize these campaigns to collect data on social determinants of health (SDOH) and educate patients on the importance of chronic care and how to manage it.
Sifting through the large amounts of data precipitated by healthcare technology solutions can be tedious and time-consuming without the correct resources. However, data and analytics are the basis of a successful automated outreach campaign. That’s why using digital technology to segment data and apply it to address social determinants of health gives healthcare providers a better way to procure details specific to one of the five SDOH domains:
- Economic stability
- Education access and quality
- Healthcare access and quality
- Neighborhood and built environment
- Social and community context
Maximizing Provider Workflows to Meet Capacity
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, many healthcare providers have experienced chronic capacity gaps and a drop in revenue — in addition to those staffing shortages. It’s clear that expanding the workforce is not the only answer to combating these issues. It requires maximizing provider workflows to deal with increasing patient capacity.
As the HIPAA Journal explains, when clinical workflows are fine-tuned, common bottlenecks that hamper patient flow are reduced, and the increase in efficiency means clinicians can spend more face-to-face time with patients. These workflows also reduce healthcare waste, which results in a lack of interoperability and productivity costs the U.S. more than $8.3 billion annually.
In addition to utilizing technology and automation, some best practices for improving clinical workflows are:
- Using EHRs to improve care coordination
- Prioritize EHR mobilization
- Streamlining clinical documentation improvement
- Standardizing rooms, equipment and patient and information flow
- Ensuring access to the latest, evidence-based clinical information at the point of care
- Employing just-in-time processing
- Utilizing non-clinical staff to collect and enter data into EHRs in real-time
- Coordinating and optimizing administrative functions
- Regularly analyzing — and improving, if necessary — current workflows
Our Epion EveryWareTM platform enables health systems to use automated campaigns and artificial intelligence to manage the unique needs of large patient populations at all points of the care continuum. It aims to provide risk-bearing health systems with a scalable, continuous and patient-first approach to care and empowers healthcare organizations to proactively identify patient needs and guide, engage and communicate with patients along their unique care path.
Schedule a meeting with us to learn more about Epion EveryWare and our other patient engagement solutions!