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Population Health Management and a Serious Hotel Wake-up Call

When it comes to hotels, I'm pretty easy to please. A reasonable and clean place works just great for me.

So when at the registration desk of the Washington D.C. Mandarin Oriental Hotel I was offered a warm, high-quality towelette to clean my hands with, I knew the place must be really nice.

I had gotten in late at night. Tired as could be and knowing that early morning meetings would mean only four or five hours of sleep that night, I asked the hotel to give me an early morning wake-up call.

They agreed and then offered another follow-up call, even if I answered the first, to ensure I was awake. I obliged.

That early morning call came quickly. I picked up the phone, quickly confirmed I was awake, and hung up.

I had forgotten about the second call they promised, so when I was in the shower and heard the phone ringing incessantly, I couldn't figure who would be calling so early. Bothered, I didn't even go look to see who was calling.

Just minutes later, after I had gotten dressed, I was alarmed by a loud, threatening pounding on the door, followed by a shouting voice: "This is hotel security! You didn't respond to your second wake-up call. We have to confirm you are up for the day!"

Wow. Hadn't expected that. Because it had scared me, I at first thought the hotel’s actions were too much. But then I considered how that follow-up would have helped me had I not gotten up.

That's the kind of vendor service—and prescriptive follow-up—needed in the population health management market today. But based on what we see at KLAS, that kind of service is pretty rare and is perhaps even as uncommon as my experience at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

But it shouldn't be. Most vendor products in the population health market are new, and some healthcare provider organizations are going down this road for the first time. The need for hand-holding and ongoing guidance is tremendous. The proactive extra call, the extra guidance, the results-oriented follow-up—they’re all critical for success.

Such an approach isn’t natural to most vendors. And the concept may not come naturally to providers either, as they may not have experienced something like this before. But the complexity and challenges in population health are real and call for an uncompromising vendor approach to problem solving.

This coming month, KLAS plans to publish two reports to show vendor performance in BI/analytics and population health management. Will your vendor show up as providing that unexpected, proactive level of service? Or will they show up as needing a wake-up call?

In the meantime, please view current client reviews on BI/analytics and population health vendors in healthcare IT.