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by Dr. Yasir Khan
Published on September 9, 2019

To help populations live fully and healthily, smart health management is of core value. It refers to an integrated approach where an organization takes up the responsibility for holistic health care and all health-care-delivery-related functionalities, which is data- (hence evidence-) driven. It not only helps in generating data, but also guides the organizations in making informed decisions around designing strategies for the best outcomes.

Over the past few decades, end-user attitudes towards service reception have changed drastically. A casual look around reveals an inclination towards convenience, consumer-centricity and on-demand personalized service provision. Today’s consumers have embraced services like Uber, Netflix and Amazon. They have spoken loudly and clearly with their wallets that they value services which offer convenience, tailored specifically for them. They are willing to pay a bit extra upfront, when prices are clear and there are no hidden costs. This is whole new paradigm of service conception and availability where they are keen to adopt solution which integrate seamlessly with their lifestyle.

In this scenario, let’s consider how such a consumer would feel about traditional methods of health care delivery. Book an appointment with your GP, take half or full day off work, drive to a facility, sit in the waiting room (sometimes for hours), answer the same questions again and again by different care providers, and then queue up at the pharmacy to get your new prescription. This all just to have routine medication review for your hypertension medication. For our modern consumer, this all feels alien.

Till the recent past, the health care industry has resisted modernization trends and has been lagging. Obvious reasons given for this resistance include legitimate issues like regulations, physician resistance, patient privacy and clinical safety concerns. Where nothing else made sense, I came across a blanket statement from some colleagues, “health care is different from industries like finance or manufacturing”. Edward Deming probably saw it coming when he stated almost 50 years ago that health care is simply an aggregate of relevant processes which in turn made up of microprocesses, like any other industry.

Health and care delivery now must catch up fast, with the winds of change intensifying and consumer trends changing drastically. Health care management is bound to adapt to this modernization with the advent of electronic health records (EHR), online pharmacies, telemedicine, patient web portals, personal health apps, the Internet of Things (IoT), and other similar technologies. It can be foreseen that these will disruptively transform the health care experience for our consumers.

Being one of the world’s leading health informatics organizations, at Cerner, we take it as our responsibility to guide our clients towards this development and we ensure that they always enjoy the sharpest edge of innovation.

The long-established iron triangle of health care is still valid to this day, perhaps more so for the GCC region. This triangle describes the competing priorities of health care systems of providing access to health care to the widest population possible but strive to do it at lower cost and higher quality. Iron triangle refers to the fact that going forward, this is only possible by thinking and embracing technology in a meaningful way.

Data-driven decision making

Cerner prides itself on being at the forefront of innovation and value-based health care delivery. We see ourselves as strategic partners of our clients. The Quadruple Aim – enhancing the patient experience, improving population health, reducing costs and improving the provider experience – is widely accepted as a compass to optimize health system performance. Every initiative, system implementation and service provision by Cerner is evaluated strictly against our value aims. It helps us and our clients prioritize those initiatives of the highest values and ensures that intended benefits are realized.

Cerner is investing in strategic partnerships with our clients around the region to pursue the meaningful application of technology. In addition to health informatics products and services, we are relentlessly developing and implementing turn-key comprehensive solutions to real world health care problems with our clients. These issues range from launching new initiatives, commissioning new services, modernizing existing service lines, the seamless flow of clinical information and the integration of services. This enables our clients in achieving better health care management and population outcomes.

Along with the above, Cerner facilitates its strategic partners in building a culture of data-driven decision making. Clinical information systems have the capability to capture every aspect of the data pertaining to the patient’s journey. Additional data is contributed from connected devices, wearables, dispensing systems and various similar resources. There is a sharp focus on transforming this data into information, knowledge and insights progressively.

Turning insights into clinical programs

Data is only as good as the insights that can be gleaned from it. With more insight into the care needs of each population segment, our clients can deliver more targeted and proactive services to engage individuals and reach better outcomes at lower costs.

Cerner’s analytical services also reveal clinical opportunities for improvement by monitoring, measuring and benchmarking the standards of care. Care gap analysis allow us to create focused clinical programs to bridge these gaps. In turn, these programs are guided and monitored through pre-defined indicators of success. We guide our clients to use data for identification and stratification risks, find gaps in care, provide predictive modeling, use clinical intelligence rules, and offer dashboard reporting, to name a few functionalities.

Informatics-driven clinical excellence

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.” Arthur Conan Doyle

Besides storing patient information, EHR system can act as an extensive toolset for clinical decision support to guide the entire care process. Clinical rules, order sets, care pathways, alerts and similar other elements are designed to prevent ‘errors of commission’ and ‘errors of omission’.

Care process guidelines (CPG) are a well-established instrument for enabling evidence-based medicine and reducing practice variation. EHR systems such are Cerner Millennium® translate clinical guidelines and make them part of the fabric of the day-to-day care-providing process. This seamless integration achieved through prompts, reminders and automated workflow steps means that it is easier to provide the highest quality care while reducing cognitive load for clinicians.

Future of health management

As advancements in technology keep raising consumer expectations, the health care industry is no exception to be affected by them. Embracing technological enablement, digitalization and automation for best health management is the way forward. Using telemedicine, artificial intelligence, robotics and all other technological innovations, health care management will be able to achieve the desired outcomes with maximal consumer satisfaction. While some countries are still contemplating the change, others are already developing their operational structures around technology utilizing it to their best use. It is just a matter of time before there will be no shying away from this transformation for the better of the entire world. Cerner is committed to facilitate our partners in embracing this transformation smoothly and effectively, ensuring their desired outcomes are met with best utilization of these innovations.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin