Shaping Healthcare’s Future

Healthcare is fraught with challenges. Yet these challenges present opportunities for innovation, growth, and progress. On a recent webinar, I spoke with Seth Hobgood, Principal and CTO at Interoptex, on the beginnings of Xsolis, the challenges facing healthcare providers today, and how current trends are shaping the foundation for more effective healthcare in the future.

Identify a Problem – and the Associated Opportunity

Hospital denials are a $262 billion problem. After we started Xsolis in 2013, at the advent of widespread EMR usage and meaningful use requirements, we quickly realized a gap existed in the market: namely, hospitals (and vendors, ourselves included) were trying to solve their issues through brute force (more people) rather than finesse. This approach has proven not only ineffective, as evidenced by the financial pain hospitals still face, but has led to greater strain across the healthcare industry in the form of inefficient processes and non-scalable approaches to care.

Rather than continue within this framework, we saw the potential of effectively harnessing data to fundamentally change how we approached these issues. From spotting sepsis to determining status, analytics and automation continue to prove invaluable for healthcare providers, a trend that will only accelerate in the years to come. As I look back now, it’s clear to me that we were a part of the underlying transition within the healthcare industry from people-driven problem-solving to data-driven empowerment.

Data: A Blessing and Curse

Healthcare sees no shortage of data: from longitudinal to occasional, vast amounts of information are produced across the healthcare continuum on a minute-by-minute basis.

Therein lies our greatest current struggle: with the breadth and disparity of data collection, how do organizations transition information into a usable state, identifying the most relevant data points along the way? Real-time, predictive analytics, the type that hold the most promise for shaping healthcare, further complicate the situation, requiring a careful monitoring of inputs with associated course corrections as data flow in and predictions flow out. Data normalization is a heavy burden for most healthcare providers to bear, so having the right process in place on the front end is crucial.

Don’t Go It Alone

Collaboration alleviates concern caused by two of the major challenges providers face when attempting to solve problems through data: choosing the right solution, and finding the right partner.

Organizations simply don’t have the bandwidth to address problems without the aid of technology. Yet choosing the right solution can be tricky, as there is no shortage of vendors touted their own version of data-driven empowerment. As we share in another blog post, not all analytics are created equal, so having a framework for decision-making becomes invaluable.

Once you identify the right solution, a second key challenge arises: how do you implement? While the effective use of data enables organizations to address specific problems more effectively than any number of employees ever could, technology is only effective with the correct balance of process (what changes within your organization), people (support and education), and product (how users interact with the end result). The right partner not only provides a solution to the problems you’re trying to solve, they make engagement as effortless as possible and set your internal team up for long term success – more than any marketing or sales material, current customers can give you a better sense of what to expect with the prospective relationship.

Shaping Healthcare’s Future

The adoption of technology has never been higher and more needed. Without identifying problems and solving them with data-driven partnerships and processes, our healthcare system cannot adequately or affordably achieve its ultimate mission – improving the health and wellbeing of the American people. Yet as an entrepreneur and a leader in health IT, I’m heartened by what I see as crucial opportunities across the healthcare spectrum being seized upon by passionate, creative thinkers and doers.

Working together, the data-driven future of health is within reach.