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    3 helpful solutions to value-based care obstacles


    Obstacle 3

    Physicians lack comprehensive point-of-care support tools

    While physicians conceptually endorse the main principles behind value-based care, many currently lack decision support tools needed to practice it effectively. In some ways, we expect more from our smartphones than we do from our healthcare information technology (IT).
    Not only do phones come equipped with newer and better features, but when new uses (or old bugs) are found, better models are developed.

    The solution:

    Physicians should expect more from the tools they use and, in turn, must be prepared to deliver. According to a Deloitte survey, roughly three in four physicians have tools with clinical protocols designed to meet quality goals, but few (36%) have access to comprehensive protocols spanning multiple conditions. Without a fully comprehensive view, physicians are, in essence, left to navigate without all the needed GPS coordinates. 

    Healthcare IT solutions are beginning to address these gaps in data and protocols, but more work is needed. An important step forward is for vendors to actively engage care teams throughout the development process.

    Frequent feedback from end-users (such as physicians, nurses and other care team members) will help to ensure that supportive tools are not disruptive to clinical workflows and, ultimately, align with a meaningful outcome. Engaged physicians, supported by the right tools, are in a much better position to pursue—and succeed—within value-based care models. 

    As we transition to a new and better system under value-based care, there are bound to be bumps along the way. There is a risk that the shift will increase the paperwork (or “clickwork”) burden—at least in the beginning. Initially, as new systems are implemented, efficiency may not increase as much as expected.

    But before writing off the need or avoiding making the effort to change, we need to realize that not every physician or group will settle upon the same model. In addition, there are a growing number of solutions to fit the different sizes and shapes of healthcare delivery.

    With change comes new beginnings, and we have a tremendous opportunity to ease the transition and ultimately reduce the paperwork burden reduce the reporting burden, and even reduce or improve the documentation burden. 


    If we align incentives so that everyone is working towards mutually-agreed upon goals, then the journey becomes less one of measurement and more one of innovation and clinical autonomy. We can lighten the load and, in doing so, liberate all care team members to focus on doing what they do best: delivering high-quality, value-based care.

    Thomas J. Van Gilder, MD, JD, MPH, is chief medical officer and vice president of informatics and analytics of Transcend Insights.



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