During the recent KLAS Keystone Summit, we had an opportunity to listen to and discuss ideas with a panel of thought leaders within the provider community. It was fascinating to see the vendors working alongside the providers in trying to solve the population health puzzle.
The provider panel’s dynamic was interesting because while they knew that there were vendors in the room, they didn’t hold back on expressing their biggest areas of frustration.
The panel urged vendors to face the reality of the challenges around moving into population health management (PHM). They also discussed what the long-term PHM vision looks like. Providers said they often feel that vendors downplay how difficult it can be to establish effective population health solutions.
This can lead providers into unrealistic expectations around how quickly their PHM tools will go live, resulting in a jarring realization when reality hits. Providers want more transparency so they can better prepare and set the right expectations within their organization.
With regard to implementation, providers expect their vendors to be experienced enough to help give providers an idea of where the solutions are going and what it will take to get there. Tied to this is the expectation that vendors will bring best practices with them. Providers don’t want to reinvent the wheel and, if possible, want to avoid the time and cost associated with learning from their own mistakes.
Vendors can play a key role in helping to guide providers down the path by avoiding potholes and other obstacles along the way. As vendors act more in this capacity, providers tend to see them more as partners and less as vendors.
Providers are looking for partners to create tools that fit within standard workflows so they don’t have to retrain all their employees on yet another electronic records system. These provider expectations aren’t outlandish; more than anything, providers want a vendor that has a road map to success and will partner with providers along the way to meet their needs.
Vendors are interested in meeting those needs, but they have a better understanding of how difficult it is to really make everything work well together. They understand that in order to build solutions that really integrate, they need cooperation from other vendors, and they need a financial commitment from the providers, both of which tend to be difficult to obtain.
At the summit, many vendors discussed making their solutions more open, in pursuit of interoperability. This is a difficult task, and it was inspiring to see the vendors decide to do this even though they know how hard it is.
In the end, it was exciting to see both sides come together and make commitments around making things work.
This piece is the fifth in a six-part blog series on population health produced by KLAS. The author, Mark Allphin, is a Senior Research Director specializing in Accountable Care, Population Health & Precision Medicine. For more information about KLAS, click here. To follow KLAS on Twitter, click here.