This article was originally featured and posted in its entirety at RevCycleIntelligence. It was authored by Jacqueline DiChiara, Editor for the publication. 

Data, data everywhere. From smartphones to smartwatches to even smarter people, data’s future within the healthcare industry was a massive trend sparking tangible widespread interest within last week’s annual HIMSS15 conference in Chicago. Of particular interest was the idea of data in association with both Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and Medicare claims systems.

Carlos Olivares, CEO of Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, spoke with Xtelligent Media during HIMSS to offer greater insight about how healthcare organizations can collectively integrate such collected data via EHR and Medicare claims systems data analysis for meaningful analysis and how to effectively improve and advance population health management.

Olivares says there are certain focal points to consider from a healthcare organization’s perspective to enhance and improve readiness.

“We knew that there was some transformation or work that we needed to do,” states Olivares. “We knew that as we move through the changes in healthcare, if as a system if we didn’t make some radical shifts in direction that we would be left behind.”

Olivares says considering the needed tools and strategies to be implemented will help the healthcare industry best cope with what the future may bring.

“We felt that we were lacking in a lot of areas that in the past were important but were not critical for the survivability of the system,” says Olivares. “We did well. We prospered without those tools and that kind of work.

Olivares explains one of the most important realizations an organization can comprehend is if actions are not implemented expediently, it will fall behind the competition.

“We begin to look and try to understand what elements of technology do we need?” Olivares states. Regarding his collective experience at the HIMSS conference, Olivares says his desire to understand what the competition is doing within the healthcare industry is imperative to understand new immediate focuses and where innovative energy needs to be directed so industries can work together towards a collective goal.

“Everyone has the right solution. Everybody’s ready to help you. Everybody is in a place that they feel are going to advance your needs,” he says.

Olivares emphasizes the vital importance of not just talking about resolutions but about actually creating actionable plans.

“We started by looking at transforming our entire system,” explains Olivares. The patient flow, the structure, the way in which we manage patients had to change significantly in order to make it effective.”

Olivares explains his partnership with Arcadia Healthcare Solutions resulted in him more clearly recognizing how to most effectively execute high quality of value-based care.

“We began to do patient transformation by creating a system that would mirror the patient medical home,” Olivares explains. “However, because we have a variety of other activities in our organization and services that we provided, a patient-centered medical home was not all we needed to do.”

Olivares says enacting a collaborative plethora of acquiring care, such as a combination of dental or behavioral health, strengthens patient-centered health by establishing a fruitful infrastructure to transform care delivery.

“We could have never implemented the kind of transformation we’ve seen,” Olivares states. “From there of course we evolved into now beginning to understand the analytical type of work we needed, the data that we needed.”

This type of infrastructure, Olivares says, offers a thorough and effective implementation tool for comprehensively understanding EHR and claims data through effective population care management.

“We had a whole bunch of data systems that were floating all over our system and it was almost impossible to try to coordinate,” Olivares confirms, suggesting the creation of a data warehouse created the exact type of analysis needed to build an effective platform.

“I can tell you today things about my patients and my system and my doctors that it would have taken about a year to try to figure out and even then it would have been a very difficult lift without structure.”

Olivares says an analysis of such data has provided him with several unforeseen financial revelations.

“We were leaving a lot of money on the table,” states Olivares. “There were a tremendous amount of resources that we were able to harness because of the data that we understood.”

Olivares says having such data readily available means physicians can consider information from a more hypothetical, number-based approach.

April 21, 2015