News Feature | May 26, 2015

Your Health IT Clients Need Better Communication, Data Analytics For Population Health Management

By Megan Williams, contributing writer

Your Health IT Clients Need Better Communication, Data Analytics For Population Health Management

A survey from PerfectServe (presented by Nielsen Consumer Insights Public Relations Research) addresses industry professional perspectives on population health management and the impact it can have on the well-being of patient populations.

Who Will Find This Useful
IT solutions providers working with text messaging and other mHealth (read about the five-year mHealth outlook), population management software, data analytics, and communication security can benefit from this information.

The Survey
The survey was conducted online between February 12, and March 6, 2015, among 955 medical professionals that ranged from office PCPs, hospital physicians, hospital administrators, nurses, and case managers. All respondents worked in larger organizations with office respondents working in practices with 25 or more physicians and hospital respondents working in facilities with more than 199 beds.

The Results
Collaboration and communication were emphasized across all points in the study. The report (available here) emphasizes the fact that collaboration is necessary in achieving successful population health management. This was highlighted by the fact that respondents agreed that collaboration lead to the very important healthcare metric of reduced readmissions. They also stressed the fact that inefficient communication is a barrier to achieving important healthcare goals.

The Importance Of Analytics, Interoperability, And mHealth
Respondents acknowledged the important role data analytics plays in the process, with about 90 percent indicating that investment in “sophisticated data analytics” is a necessity. Similar results were seen around the discussion of the importance of interoperable communication technology and mobile health communication in fostering effective population health management.

EHRs were appreciated, but not seen as a solution unto themselves, with 40 percent of respondents stating that they didn’t believe EHRs were enough to support successful coordination and communication with other members of extended care teams.

Respondents’ response rates around what would achieve effective population health management include:

  • Improved communication with patients (98 percent)
  • Collaboration across the extended care team (97 percent)
  • Investment in sophisticated data analytics (87 percent)

Investment Issues
The majority of respondents stated that they were familiar with their organization’s population health management strategy, but of those, only about half indicated that it made the top five investment priorities for the coming year. Still though, organizations were found to be making strides.

The leading organizations making progress through either partnerships or acquisitions were:

  • Insurers and payers (59 percent partnered)
  • Physician practices (55 percent partnered)
  • Tech vendors (52 percent partnered)
  • Home health providers (51 percent partnered)

Additional insight into the results around each of the topics discussed is available in the study report here.