A new Premier survey with 63 healthcare executives found that healthcare systems are now shifting their focus from recording data in EHRs to integrating and combining this data to aid in decision making. This is a welcome development for providers and a nudge for health plans to move themselves in the direction of a single, integrated technology platform. After all, integrating data eliminates redundancies, creates efficiencies, and lays a foundation for population analytics and insight. That can lead to closing more gaps in care and lowering costs—both for members and the plan.

For health plans, creating one comprehensive, integrated platform would facilitate more effective management of and improvement in the health and wellness of their diverse populations. It would streamline internal workflows, reduce the cost and duplication associated with maintaining multiple, separate systems, and enhance the member experience through better data coordination and sharing of information.

For example, a single, digital platform could support patients taking charge of their own health by unifying content, tools and resources. Fifty-three percent (53%) of consumers say they can’t access all their clinical health data from a computer. By integrating legacy systems and uniting electronic health records and other clinical and behavioral data into a single platform, health plans can facilitate member access to health information. They can help provide better connections between patients and physicians outside the doctor’s office.

Perhaps the biggest gain for health plans who can move to an integrated platform is the advantage they would have in population health management. An integrated system offers a more complete look at member populations, enabling plans to segment members into risk levels and focus on those with the most intensive needs.

Organizations in other industries have long been reaping the benefits of an integrated technology platform. Verizon saved $1.6 Billion in three years, and Sprint saves millions each year by integrating legacy platforms, sales and customer service into a single platform.

If you have invested in a diverse set of technology systems to capture and collect member data, now is the time to consider moving from “meaningful use to meaningful insight.” Integrating data from separate sources and improving the interoperability capabilities of existing health technology is the first step toward raising your plan’s health intelligence.

[Photo credit: Global X via Creative Commons.]