Good or perfect: Cutting the fastest path forward

Guest post by Patrick GordonDirector, Colorado Beacon Consortium

Early pioneers to Colorado did not have the luxury of waiting for railway or infrastructure to be in place before taming a new frontier. Their vision and determination laid the foundation for the settlers who followed. They used the tools and talents they had to develop an infrastructure and ultimately build viable, productive communities. Had they waited for the perfect conditions, they’d still be back east.

It’s a lesson we’ve applied to health care transformation. At the Colorado Beacon Consortium (CBC), we resisted the temptation to delay good learning opportunities and wait for perfect solutions. We embraced the ONC/HHS’ challenge to demonstrate how costs can be reduced and patient health improved by integrating health information technology (HIT) into a transformed clinical workflow. This pioneering effort requires new competencies with patient and population data, more sophisticated technology, and a supporting workforce. So far, we’ve offered technical assistance to more than 50 primary care practices in western Colorado. We are laying a foundation.

10 Reasons Why an Open IT Platform Strategy is the Right Long-Term Choice for an ACO

  1. Many Physicians and Clinical Service Providers Will Not Be In Your ACO Contracting Network.
  2. Expect Significant Patient Leakage (Migration) Out of Your ACO Network
  3. Expect Patient Demands for Sharing Records.
  4. Minimize Anti-Trust Concerns.
  5. Expect Continuing Government Pressure for Broad Data Exchange.

Will ACO IT Models Be Walled Gardens or Open Platforms?

Will ACO (accountable care organization) IT models be walled gardens or open platforms?  i.e., will ACO IT platforms focus on exchanging information within the provider network of the ACO, or will they also be able to exchange information with providers outside the ACO network? (If the question still isn’t clear, click here for a further explanation.).

HITPC Meaningful Use Workgroup Offers First Draft of HITECH Stage 2 & 3 Objectives

At the December 13 meeting of the HITPC (Health IT Policy Committee), the MU (Meaningful Use) Workgroup proposed a first draft of HITECH Stage 2 and 3 objectives.

A full list of objectives for Stages 1, 2 & 3 is available in the PowerPoint presented to HITPC.

The proposed objectives contain a mix of items that are:

  • Unchanged from Stage 1
  • Similar MU criteria with higher implementation goals, e.g.,
    • Stage 1: CPOE for Rx orders 30%
    • Stage 2: CPOE for 60% of Rx, lab and radiology orders entered by licensed professionals
  • Clarifications or more detailed specifications
  • Discretionary objectives moved to core set
  • New items

Here’s a list of proposed new objectives for Stage 2 MU:

Summarizing Early PCAST HIT Critiques: “Brilliant, but they didn’t do all their technical homework.”

Last week PCAST (The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology) issued a major report — “Realizing the Full Potential of Health Information Technology to Improve Healthcare for Americans: The Path Forward”. 

The reviews are filtering in and I’m seeing two major themes: 

  1. The vision is on target:  “extraordinary”, “breathtakingly innovative”.
  2. These guys didn’t do all their technical homework. The range varies, but the message is consistent. 

Here are some early critiques of the PCAST report. Let the debate continue!