Dr Charles Saunders: Practices Don't Integrate Technology Well

In general, practices and health systems don’t do a good job of integrating technology into practice, partly because most of the technology they use isn’t well suited to their needs, explained Charles Saunders, MD, CEO of Integra Connect.

In general, practices and health systems don’t do a good job of integrating technology into practice, partly because most of the technology they use isn’t well suited to their needs, explained Charles Saunders, MD, CEO of Integra Connect.

Transcript

How do practices need to use information technology to succeed in the new value-based care environment?

Well, the Oncology Care Model has certain requirements; one of those is the use of an ONC [Office of the National Coordinator]-certified electronic health record. Another one is data-driven quality improvement programs, as well as care navigation, and use of evidence-based care paths and creation and management to an Oncology Care Model care plan. And, so, technology is used for all of those requirements, and I would say the trickiest part of it, however, is curating the data and determining and calculating the performance measures required for the Oncology Care Model.

How well are practices and health systems doing with integrating new technology into practice?

Well, generally, not very well. In most cases, they use an electronic health record (EHR), most of the EHRs out there are not actually suited for the Oncology Care Model. They don’t, oftentimes, capture the data that is necessary to do the calculations, and they don’t actually provide support or enablement for managing care or team-based care management. They’re generally for documenting an episode of care and administering chemotherapy. So, they weren’t really designed for that purpose.

Additionally, the ability to integrate and curate the data is proving to be very difficult, and, in many cases, if not all, some level of manual data curation is necessary.