Datica Blog

Does Healthcare IT Put the Cart Before the Horse?

Kris Gösser

Kris Gösser

VP of Marketing

October 3, 2016   Customers

Industry focus on patient outcomes has never been higher. Key healthcare stakeholders, from payers, providers, vendors and others, all indicate that this focus will surely escalate. The emphasis may appear new, but as early as 1998, the Journal of of General Internal Medicine began covering the patient outcomes movement. Considering this surge in interest, you may be wondering why some healthcare innovators are focusing on technology first and outcomes second.

In a rush to get a healthcare technology to market and a paying client on the books, vendors often sidestep this important piece to the solution. As a result, many health systems across the country are being sold new technologies that don’t address patient outcomes first. Clinicians wonder why. In a recent Healthcare Innovators Podcast, Ida Sim, MD, who is a primary care physician, informatics researcher, entrepreneur and Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, shared her thoughts on technology implementation as it relates to patient outcomes. “The place to start is not to have a great app or sensor, [nor] how to get as many people to use it for as long as possible,” says Sim. Instead, she explains, “Outcomes are generated jointly by the healthcare system and the patients themselves, so that’s the place to start.” This approach transcends wearables and applications; it can also be applied to larger technologies, such as electronic medical records (EMRs).

In some ways, starting with the technology is counterintuitive. Few organizations effectively manage patients outside of traditional episodes. Datica CEO and Chief Privacy Officer, Travis Good, MD gave his perspective on the subject recently. “The healthcare providers, focused most on patient outcomes, like Denver Health, have had the management of patients in their DNA long before applying any technology to achieve efficiencies.”

Effective Technology is Outcome-Based

For healthcare innovators, starting with patient outcomes first promises to provide technical solutions that dramatically impact patients and the industry as a whole. Some development organizations are already taking this approach and that’s exciting to watch.

Working at Datica gives us an in-the-trenches view of impactful industry technologies that address patient outcomes first. Madison-based healthfinch, for example, needed EMR integrations for implementing its automated prescription refill solutions within a hospital system. Healthfinch started with the specific population need, then crafted a technology solution with patient outcomes at the heart of that solution. This story, and others from health vendors working on patient outcome-first technologies, can be found in the Datica customer stories.

Are you developing technologies focused first on patient outcomes? Datica can help you scrutinize that process, which will ultimately provide the most value for clinicians and the hospitals for whom they work. That technology approach leads to long-term success and product viability for customers.

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