FedHealthIT’s President, Susan Sharer, sat down with Livanta CEO Roger Hebden to discuss relationships, being proactive based on industry trends, and the real challenge, and opportunity, behind interoperability.
Livanta’s Unique Perspective
As a contractor, Livanta is uniquely positioned to support Healthcare across the spectrum of patients and providers. This encompasses the beneficiary side, including Veterans, active military and those who receive Medicare and Medicaid; the provider side, which includes the hospitals focused on improving patient outcomes and satisfaction; the payer side where we work with CMS on topics including risk mitigation and cost recovery; and Government agencies in general from a policy perspective.
Bringing together these customer areas, we are one of only four Beneficiary and Family Centered Care-Quality Improvement Organizations across the country and bring a unique understanding of the beneficiary.
What Opportunities Exist to Better Serve your Government Client?
First and foremost, as a contractor, delivery is key. Beyond that is finding ways to innovate, to improve the effort, the end result, and the satisfaction of those involved. Sometimes there is a mindset that says there must be a technology or a grand solution when in reality, improving service can be something very simple like adjusting a process or changing a simple business flow. Sometimes, a simple change can get to the heart of a real bottleneck or challenge.
Of course, we must watch industry closely to look for trends and emerging directions so we can develop and bring those solutions to the client to help them stay ahead of their needs. ONC, for instance, is a key driver of health IT so watching for direction from them and anticipating next moves is critical. In sport, people say that you don’t move to where the ball or puck is, you move to where it is going to be. The same is true for Healthcare. We don’t simply want to be where the industry is today, we want to be looking ahead one, three and five years to ensure we are positioned where the industry will be.
The Future of Data Analytics and Telehealth
We are headed toward an era of patient empowerment, of increased and seamless access to medical records and better communication among the patient and his/her care team.
From the data analytics side, moving forward will require not only being able to gather and analyze good data in-house, but also the ability to access other data systems and to bring that together with the data you have.
That data is the basis of telehealth and the desired patient empowerment, which requires having access to patient records, as well as all of the relevant parts of that record, from anywhere and at any time.
The other key component is communication, the ability to interact with the patient and their care team to make sense of the data, to share the insights, and to have trackable action which could be as simple as appointments and schedules for medication to more interactive information about diet and exercise.
Interoperability efforts must be focused on the patient. It isn’t just about one agency’s system talking to that of another agency; it is about how the patient interacts with all of that. Medical records are stored at multiple institutions that come under multiple jurisdictions and include x-rays, test results and so on. What we lack is a clear, longitudinal view of patient health.
Standards such as FHIR and the proposed 21st Century Cures Act are key. The technology is there to support the needed interoperability, and the law is almost there.
We’re starting to see some big players, such as Apple with its Apple Health app, with some access to medical records. At Livanta, we expect to have an advocacy platform launched in the first half of the year that will provide access to patient records at 90 percent of hospital systems and labs across the country as well as provide for the communication among the patient and caregiver, their advocate, and the care team.
I believe that we will get to the point within five years where the patient has access to their medical records and, even more important, they have that complete picture of their health. This has the potential to change the way we think about how we live, how we eat, our diets and exercise. We don’t think this way today because the information available is so disjointed and episodic, and it’s hard to understand how to manage a particular condition. When you pull all of the information together to get that holistic picture of the individual from birth to adulthood, we can apply data analytics to better understand recommendations about diet, medicine and so on to how we live.
Cybersecurity as Part of the Puzzle
If you look at the financial industry, it could not exist without personal access that is protected by multiple levels of security and control. Healthcare needs to catch up, and HIPAA is a good start. As we start to push toward patient records accessibility, empowerment and engagement, it opens up a huge window to potential data breaches and accidental sharing of personal information. We need to be able to secure how patients manage the data they finally have access to, including understanding what we have and who it is relevant to. Ensuring data privacy and access at the same time is the long pole in the tent moving forward.
About Roger Hebden
Roger Hebden has a 35-year track record as a successful manager, consultant, engineer, and entrepreneur in the software and health information technology industry. He is an advocate of Healthcare analytics, digital services, and driving patient experience. Roger received an MBA from University of Maryland and Bachelor of Science in computer engineering from Bucknell University.
About Livanta LLC
Livanta LLC, established in 2004, is a privately held, Government contracting firm headquartered in Annapolis Junction, MD. The company’s success lies within its team of knowledgeable professionals who are committed to providing excellent service and quality products powered by exceptional IT solutions and data analytics.