Increasing Health Equity by Improving Data Collection and Reporting in Healthcare

It’s the 10th anniversary of National Health IT (NHIT) Week and this year’s topic is #HealthEquity. Health equity is best described as giving people what they need to achieve their best health outcomes.

Unfortunately, much of the data we use to improve patient outcomes in areas like population health, mental health, and chronic disease management, is locked in disparate systems that don’t inherently work well together.

EHRs have great reporting potential, but often require dedicated teams to capture and compile data in a meaningful way that’s actually useful for improvement initiatives. It was no surprise that when Deloitte Health initiated a Twitter poll this week asking the question, “Which technology could have the biggest impact on health equity?” The huge majority of respondents chose data analysis and insights.

Patient Identification and Safety
How do we enable greater transparency of information across systems? Automation provides a path that is technically accommodating, enabling users to quickly access and compare information from multiple sources including patient, provider, payer, government, and public health agencies. With the ability to comprehensively gather and compare data in multiple systems, we can find deeper insights to provide a more complete health picture. This allows hospitals and providers to develop strategies, target criteria, and better monitor patient outcomes.

Because the distribution of health risks changes over time, the objective is to continuously identify and report on factors that can lead to prevention.

The result is fewer delays and better attainment of population health and safety goals across all groups, improving outcomes and advancing health equity.

Optimizing Telehealth Services
While telehealth technology is not new, adoption has significantly increased since the start of the pandemic. According to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, more than 9 million Medicare beneficiaries used telehealth during the early stages of COVID-19.

Telehealth affords us with an opportunity to expand the use of patient-reported outcomes, a clear and strategic imperative for healthcare quality, while reducing the risk of disease spread.

Telehealth meets patients “where they are,” closing some of the gaps in health equity for seniors, chronically ill patients, and those in need of mental health services. By automating many of the processes involved in telehealth, such as data collection, lab result reporting, and data analysis, automation helps #bridgethegaps between systems, making it easier to focus on advancing patient care.

A Better Record For Better Equity
Many healthcare organizations are frustrated with the lack of integration in their population health applications because they still require a lot of manual work. Automation is an ally to reduce that burden, bridge the gaps, and provide a more complete picture of patient health.

By inserting automation tools at any point in the process, we can improve the quality and consistency of data, provide greater insights, and work on bettering the health of patients. With more complete and actionable records, organizations can easily identify areas for improvement, making health equity a priority vs. an afterthought.

Our clients and partners utilize Boston WorkStation’s automation technology to bridge the gaps left by traditional applications, reducing the time spent in manual data collection, and providing greater insights about the total health picture. This improves health equity initiatives and patient outcomes.

Why Boston Software Systems?

Boston Software Systems understands that people drive the processes in caring for thousands of patients every day.

To find out more about how your organization can strengthen data collection and reporting efforts with automation, give us a call. We won’t take up much of your time and can start the process quickly: 866-653-5105. We’re also available to connect via Twitter, @bossoft.

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