What's the value of patient access

Healthcare information Technology (HIT) is exploding. Simple billing systems of only a couple of decades ago have given way to complex EMR, now EHR systems, organizational integration is now expanded to be inclusive of third-party integrations and even competitor interoperability. Much of the focus is to bring the patient more into the informational domain for both access and control. The barriers and challenges to these objectives are significant and myriad, but that’s for you to discuss with your IT consultants. My point of focus is the value. 

What value is there to providing patients with access to their medical records... how about dashboard summaries of their health histories or apps that manage, monitor and report on compliance? The opportunities are boundless – or so it seems. The challenge is to determine what makes sense. And, In medicine and healthcare making sense often reverts directly to the bottom line.

Organizations can, and I stress the word “can,” do many things to make patients happier based on the elements of access and management or control of their health data, but what is worthwhile. What actually does make dollars and cents? 

Traditional measures of new offerings, services or products follow the ROI example. However, what is the measurable return from a more compliant patient? And, is there one return or many or several? Try plugging those questions into an ROI model and you’ll quickly see its shortfall. That is where Cost Effectiveness Analysis (CEA) can yield actionable, accurate and valid valuations of these initiatives.  

For example, you may know that a satisfied patient is more compliant than a dissatisfied patient. You may know that satisfied patients refer other patients to the organization. You may know patients who regularly check their accessible EHR information are more compliant than those who do not. You know many things. You have much data. CEA provides you with the valuation and the modeling to link all those (and more) pieces together to put real value, not intuitive value, on the very substantial investments required to make significant HIT changes.  

If your objective is to provide the best decision-making for your organization and take a global view of your business, expanding your sights beyond ROI, and educating other decision-makers, Cost Effectiveness Analysis can make your organization more competitive and more profitable.