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What We’re Reading | Week of 5.8.2017

Healthcare is a rapidly evolving industry – it’s difficult to read up on everything that matters to you. But the success of your practice can depend on how knowledgeable you are about changes in the healthcare landscape. Privia has compiled a weekly list of important articles we are reading on healthcare industry trends, clinical best practices and legislative updates for your convenience. Here are some of the important articles and blogs on healthcare that stood out this week:

>> “While leadership in healthcare organizations may not be diverse, most providers have staff with a wide range of education levels, roles and ethnic backgrounds, and IT executives can draw upon those to fill roles on decision making teams, Hightower believes. ‘Medical assistants may only have a high school degree, while physicians and clinical scientists may be at the very top of the educational scale,” she says. “By using diversity in problem solving, there’s just a huge potential to create teams that leverage all of these different experiences and gain new insights for how to design our systems.’”

>> EHRs were initially designed to serve primarily as digital repositories for patient data, eliminating the risks and disorganization inherent to paper records. However, many EHR systems have moved beyond the basics of documentation and are now equipped with analytics tools that can enable population health management and value-based care. But with less than a third of providers using all available EHR data analytics tools and 11 percent claiming not to analyze their EHR data at all, these capabilities are often being overlooked or underutilized.”

>> “The House’s passage of legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare moves the issue to the Senate, where its future is far from certain. GOP senators have said they will overhaul the House bill and that legislation won’t reach the floor until it has 51 votes. Here are the five key players to watch.

>> “Shicowich was more than 100 pounds overweight. He was fighting nerve damage, high blood pressure and kidney problems — all complications of diabetes. ‘So I knew it was time for a change,’ he told me. And last year, he found the help — and the motivation — he was looking for: a new food pharmacy program that has helped him overhaul how he eats.”

>> “…what do healthcare IT leaders need to do right now to move forward in this very complex area? What must be done next is “highly variable,” depending on where an individual organization already is, Premier’s Lanning emphasizes. ‘First,’ she says, ‘you have to understand what data you have now in your systems, to figure out which systems to implement. Even if they have an EHR or a physician practice system, the data required for the measures may be too sophisticated for them. One of the big issues is that in many cases, decisions have been made by [patient care organization leaders] without [their] understanding their data. They’ve really got to step back and understand what data they do have, what they’re missing, and what they need to capture.’”

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