HIMSS 2024 Recap

Value-Based Care

March 19, 2024
A collage of different scenes of the 2024 HIMSS convention in Orlando, FL

At HIMSS last week, we were in the Patient Engagement Pavilion.  I noticed that there was more traffic in this area than in prior years.  Everyone I talked to was grappling with how to address Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI):

  • How do we do a better job of capturing it?
  • What do we do with it once we have it?

Many were lamenting how hard it was to get already short-staffed organizations to collect SDoH and SOGI, now that it is required for many value-based contracts. Some explored staff training, others made these fields required in their EMR. Like Maslow’s hierarchy, they were focused on the basics - capturing the required data.  They had not yet gotten to the point of figuring out “Now that I have this data, what do I do with it”.  Most were seeking a path to success.

This year I also heard separate but increased focus on  

  • Switching from reactive to proactive
  • Person-centered care where one size does not fit all
  • Governance – why and how are we doing this?

I see these things as interrelated.  Capturing SDoH and SOGI data is not meant to be a checkbox to meet a new government requirement.  It is meant to identify the barriers to receiving medical care to put together a plan to address that individual’s barriers to health and well-being. It requires a different, holistic approach and care-team collaboration.

This is what proactive, patient-centered care that promotes health equity looks like to me:

Luckily, QliqSOFT has been working with a leading healthcare organization that teams with ambulatory clinics to develop and roll out best practices.  Here is what we have learned so far:

  1. Be clear about what you are trying to accomplish and the value to your population. Have someone represent the interests of the patient to keep their needs front and center.
  1. Promote literacy – why is it important for the individual to make time to do what you are asking?
  1. Individuals prefer to answer sensitive questions digitally, not face-to-face.  
  1. Focus on capturing the SDoH data where you have resources to help.  This reinforces trust and engagement.
  1. Act on the findings, directing individuals with needs to resources that can help them address those barriers.  
  1. Timing matters. Reach out proactively to engage individuals with the healthcare system.  For example, waiting to capture this data upon arrival in the clinic will not work for an individual with transportation or payment challenges.
  1. Tone is critical. This is sensitive data for people who tend to be from marginalized populations. We need to be respectful in how we ask to build trust.
  1. Involve front-line staff. They work with patients daily, know them, and can help refine the message and approach that will resonate.
  1. Technology is critical to achieving scale but it needs to be flexible enough to support, not dictate the solution.  Digital campaigns and chatbots work well to offload work from overburdened teams and to engage more of the population.
  1. Be agile.  Ask for patient and staff feedback, and act on it to continue to improve performance.

Value-based care nudges organizations to think and act differently. Embrace it.

The Author
Bobbi Weber

Bobbi is a lifelong learner who is passionate about enabling healthcare transformation. She has 20+ years of healthcare experience in care delivery, consulting, healthcare IT, and market strategy.

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