The Continuum of Scare

Auto-correct spelling on a smart device can be A-N-N-O-Y-I-N-G.

You know the feeling. You're texting somebody or writing down a thought, and your phone or tablet somehow magically knows what you are thinking. But then it auto-fills (or auto-corrects) the wrong word.

I get a lot of that, perhaps because I type pretty fast using my iPad's virtual keyboard—about 40 words per minute (not bad, eh?). But that isn't always good. Perhaps I hit some wrong keys, but the other day when I was racing to jot down notes on some healthcare topics and tried to type "continuum of care," my iPad auto-corrected the spelling to "continuum of scare."

I couldn't help but laugh. Hard.

But as I got thinking about it, I realized that this is right on par with how many healthcare providers think about their changing world and the challenges they face. Accountable care organizations, for example, assume greater risk as they become responsible not only for the care that takes place in the hospital but also for what happens outside the hospital—including the coordination of care across the continuum.

That means that a clinic, specialty practice, or homecare agency can not only affect a patient's treatment and well-being but may also influence the level of financial reimbursement the hospital ultimately receives. That’s not easy, especially when patients make choices about their health that go contrary to what they've been advised (i.e., they don’t take medications, don’t follow doctor's orders, etc.), and that might result in an unnecessary—and now unpaid—hospital readmission.

In the past a discharge might have marked the typical end of patient care provided by a hospital. Now, providers often have to look beyond discharge and face “the continuum of scare.” It's not to say that ACOs are all scary, but the risk involved is real, and bringing together all the parts and pieces and coordinating care among providers who have traditionally competed with each other—or who have been disconnected from one another—is no small feat.

It is a feat that takes more than goodwill. And more than provider collaboration and partnership. It takes good, solid data and analytics to really understand factors about the patients’ needs, choices, and health. And to be complete, or at least complete enough for real understanding and analysis, that data has to come from a lot of different sources.

If you thought data aggregation and warehousing within an organization were hard, consider the new reality many providers face—the need to do it across the continuum. To help providers understand which vendors have this kind of capability and potential, we at KLAS plan to do a perception study in the coming months on data aggregation and analytics in the continuum of scare. Wait a minute. . . That was supposed to be continuum of care. Sorry. Another auto-correct error. ;)

Please reach out to joev@klasresearch.com to share thoughts or give suggestions on this potential study. If you'd like to see a view of vendors used today for data aggregation and analytics, check out the vendor performance data in the KLAS BI/analytics segment.

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