The key to success for integrated health systems has been to use the data from EHRs to manage population health.
The key to success for integrated health systems such as Kaiser Permanente and the Mayo Clinic has been to use the data from EHRs to manage population health. Rather than the traditional model of treating diabetes one patient at a time, for example, “panel managers” (registered nurses or other non-physician health professionals) can reach out to patients outside of the office visit and make sure that they are receiving recommended care. Who will pay these managers outside of the Kaisers and Mayo Clinics remains a largely unanswered question.
The bottom line, though, is that it’s not enough to just collect electronic data. For EHRs to transform primary care, we need to be able to use the data in new and creative ways, improving the health of large groups of patients – and eventually, entire communities – at the same time.
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