Posted on December 20, 2022 | 3 min read
Future Proofing Technology: 5 Considerations for the HIT Stack
As the new year approaches, it is critical to consider a few best practices when evaluating the longevity of healthcare information technology (HIT) alternatives. This concept is frequently referred to as future proofing; a measure of how long your technology will hold value in the years ahead. Technology can become obsolete, even before innovation advancements undermine the value. When HIT vendors prioritize disruption and market share over tried-and-true development methodologies, including sufficient awareness of how the solution will be utilized in the field, future proofing is ignored.
So, as you walk the literal, or virtual, aisles in the weeks and months ahead while assessing your participation options, consider the following key strategies to ensuring your capital is rewarded with a long-term payoff:
- Does it play well with others? Technology that is built using communication standards, with a well-established framework for exchanging information between applications, including a strong base of users should be a baseline requirement for any core system and bolt-on application. For healthcare, that means employing X12 or Health Level 7 (HL7) standards for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information and Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) to advance interoperability. The viability of proprietary, single-point, task-driven technology is declining rapidly, replaced by a mindset of technology and the needs of the business working in concert together. Applications need strong connections, so information flows between them; this is the model of forward-looking architects who recognize that collaboration and agility are essential to interoperable platform design.
- Will it scale with you? As your value-based care populations rise and your alternative payment model participation expands, will your toolset be able to keep up? Growth should not be a bottleneck imposed by your current technology. Reflect on the last three-five years of your organization’s performance and apply the ebbs and flows to your future. Will your technology cover patients enrolled in Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, Affordable Care Act (ACA), and Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) via the same workflow as your populations shift? Are commercial populations covered, too?
- Will it limit you? As much as 80% of patient data is unstructured, and without advanced natural language processing (NLP), that rich resource is unreachable. Can the proposed technology incorporate clinical data from your EMR platform(s) or provider-network? Moreover, how is that data made accessible? For example, a common provider complaint is the duplicative requests for the same patient chart by multiple parts of the payer organization. If the payer’s risk adjustment software housed the patient charts in a common structured repository, the other departments could easily satisfy their need for clinical data without further disruption to the provider.
- Is it flexible? Just as technology need to scale with volume growth, toolsets should also be able to incorporate additional use cases. Healthcare policy, technology advancements, and consumer demands require payers and providers to be ready to pivot and adjust to a changing environment. Layering new use cases (enrollment, prior authorization, value-based payment management, etc.) onto an existing platform minimizes additional capital outlay, user-adoption challenges, and delays resulting from retooling, implementations, and training.
- Can it connect domains? As you add relationships within your network, will you be able to fold in your domain counterparts? In healthcare, the lines between payer, provider, and patient are blurring as legislation mandating interoperability continues and value-based care growth spurs joint ventures and unique payer and provider arrangements. Technology that thrives in one domain is no longer enough to ensure success in the years ahead, especially when it comes to multi-domain problems like solving prior authorization mandates.
The Edifecs’ technology suite is built to adapt to payers; to providers; to advanced existing value-based care participants or new ones. Future-proofing technology is a core value in our development approach. Our purpose-built SaaS workflows, bolstered by our core interoperability platform, remove the operational, administrative, and collaboration rigidity standing in the way of progress so you can prepare your organization to thrive amidst the current healthcare transformation. Contact us today to see what we can do for you and save yourself a trip to that next show.
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