Value-based care: How IoT technology can improve patient outcomes
The shift to value-based care in healthcare is happening quickly. This alternative payment system is now used by 45 percent of healthcare systems, according to the 2016 HIMSS Cost Accounting Survey.
The goal is to improve quality of care and overall efficiency by basing reimbursements on patient outcomes and satisfaction surveys instead of paying for specific services performed. However, it’s a huge shift in the entire approach of healthcare and requires that healthcare systems change their approach to patient care in order to continue receiving full reimbursements.
The role of the IoT in this transition
The key to value-based care is having the data needed to make the best decisions for your patients and accurately reporting improved patient outcomes. Many healthcare systems are turning to IoT technology to provide information about patients through a variety of monitoring devices.
Grand View Research predicted that the healthcare IoT market alone will continue to surge and reach $410 billion by 2022. The study found that 60 percent of current healthcare IoT devices are wearables and predicted a 30 percent increase in implantable IoT technology in the next six years.
Wearable and implantable devices are used to monitor chronic conditions as well as acute and post-operative conditions. Popular uses include fitness monitors and devices that monitor vital signs such as heart rate and blood pressure. Becker’s Health IT & CIO Review reported that healthcare systems are using IoT technology to monitor home dialysis patients and reduce infections through closed-feedback loops on sterilization equipment. They’re also tracking cardiac health using ingestible compounds. Many other devices are in the works as well — for instance, Reuters reported on a contact lens in development by Google and Novartis that will detect glucose levels in people with diabetes.
By gathering information, healthcare providers are able to better detect early on whether a patient is likely to have a complication and then provide interventions. This means patients get the right care for their specific issues and typically get the interventions quickly because the data is transmitted to the provider in real-time instead of later on during an office appointment. This translates into better patient outcomes, which results in higher patient satisfaction. This means healthcare systems receive maximum reimbursements from payers.
Using the IoT to understand the monetary value of an offered service
Once IoT devices gather their data, healthcare systems can use data analytics and predictive analytics to turn the data into actionable insights. By comparing collected data among patients, providers can detect patterns indicating episodes and conditions in the early stages not detectable through other means. Because more is known about the patient through IoT technology than through traditional methods, providers have additional information to determine the best treatment option.
A big challenge comes back to cost with value-based care. Hospitals struggle to budget both costs and revenue without a clear understanding of the costs and reimbursements associated with each service, since this varies from patient to patient. By using IoT technology, providers can gather additional information about patients and conditions. After services are provided, healthcare systems can then track the costs and reimbursements for these patients. This will create a database of patient profiles that can then be used to compare current patients with previous patients to predict costs. Without IoT data, healthcare providers have significantly less data to use in the predictive analytics, making the estimates less accurate.
Value-based care is the future of healthcare, and by using IoT technology combined with data analytics, your healthcare system can increase patient outcomes, satisfaction and hospital revenues — all at the same time.