Journalist Fareed Zakaria is certain that those who prevail in tomorrow’s health care arena are the ones who figure out how to use the troves of data at their fingertips to distinguish themselves from competitors.
“[W]hat you do with that data will probably be the key differentiator going forward,” Zakaria explains at a recent healthcare conference, the Health Forum and American Hospital Association Leadership Summit.
Stephens Mundy, the president and CEO of Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) Medical Center, also spoke at the same Health Forum conference where he touted data as a key to innovative partnerships. Mundy explained, “[i]f you think [buying the newest surgical robot] is your big decision, you’re wrong...your big decision is who are you going to partner with and what data do you know?”
These two big decisions outlined by the CEO of CVPH Medical Center, about who you are going to partner with and what data you know, are both attainable when a practice implements a high-performance electronic referral management system.
Leading primary care practices who use electronic referral management are partnering with their preferred specialist partners through referral decision support. This enables them to have referral performance data available at their fingertips. Referral performance metrics like specialist time-to-treatment, how quickly consult reports are sent to PCPs, and access to real-time statistics on referral trends and patterns are only available through electronic referral management applications - not in your EHR.
Because of this data advantage, managing referrals electronically is one way a practice can distinguish itself from its competitors, as Fareed Zakaria mentioned. Primary care practices that choose to manage referrals in a cloud-based application can identify their best-performing specialist partners in order to provide the highest quality patient care at manageable cost levels. It’s these practices who are driving operational and network-wide decisions to pave the way towards optimal care.