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COVER STORY · DATA ANALYTICS


“Physicians and other clinicians are struggling with an ongoing signal-to-noise ratio, an alert-fatigue epidemic.” Alerts need to be powered by analytics, “at the moment when we can influence a patient’s health trajectory.” —Ryan Nellis


of studies not ready for reading at the time that they’re normally pushed out to radiologists—whether because the image sets are incomplete or some information is missing—identifying those studies and sending them back to engineers for further preparation, has made the radiologists considerably more efficient, he reports, at a time when productivity is more vital than ever. As a result of leveraging a key element in an AI-derived algorithm to identify incomplete studies, “That has resulted in a 10-percent improvement in productivity,” he notes. “And that means really big changes in efficiency.” Over time, Kelleher says, “We’d like to tackle the rest of the radiologist experience with similar endeavors—thinking about the things that don’t work well. Fortunately or unfortu- nately, there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit” available to address, he adds. Even smallish primary care physician


groups are making major strides in apply- ing analytics to practice challenges. David Uptagrafft, CFO at the nine-provider (three physicians, six advanced nurse practitio- ners) Innova Primary Care in Huntsville, Ala., reports that he and his colleagues have been on an intensive journey around data analytics since 2015, when they decided to participate in the Chronic Care Management (CCM) program sponsored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). At the time, he notes, “The data from CMS showed trouble ahead for smaller organizations. So we started trying to deliver relational-based care. And CMS introduced the CCM module that gave us more insight into individual patients. So we got involved in the CCM program when it launched in 2015.” What’s more, he says, he and his colleagues are also navi- gating complexity because of the paper- based workflow directed by Blue Cross


8 hcinnovationgroup.com | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021


Blue Shield of Alabama, the dominant commercial payer in Alabama. Partnering with the Boston-based eClinicalWorks, he reports, has helped tremendously in terms of moving data around, and in terms of using eClinicalWorks’ popula- tion health modules, which are helping the practice’s members see gaps in care. One absolutely key element in success so far has been leveraging the coding hierarchy tool within the eClinicalWorks platform in order to obtain week-to-week updates showing which providers are correctly coding the complexity of their patients, which it turns out is an absolutely essential element to success in the CCM program. And in that regard, he says, the timeliness of data and of the process of analyzing that data, is turning out to be absolutely crucial to ongoing success as a medical group practice.


Leveraging analytics to support physicians at the point of clinical decision-making In addition to leveraging analytics to sup- port community-wide population health efforts; to identify gaps in care for patients with chronic disease; to improve clinical operations in medical group practices;


Photo 209343754 by Tzido | Bigstockphotos.com


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