VA Digital Healthcare Playbook Highlights Health IT Optimization Case Studies

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Posted on August 2nd, 2022 by Hannah Nelson

Phase one of the VA Digital Healthcare Playbook highlights projects that have helped improve health information exchange and health IT usability.

Phase one of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Digital Healthcare Playbook identifies health IT case studies that are helping transform patient care.

The guide, created in collaboration with the Digital Medicine Society, intends to drive digital transformation and encourage multidisciplinary collaboration.

VA notes in the playbook that current challenges to health IT usability include physician dissatisfaction with EHRs, overregulation, isolated data silos, and incompatible systems.

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For instance, MercyOne, an accountable care organization (ACO) with over 400 service locations, had several disparate data sources lacking a common standard.

“With such enormous stature of the ACO, designing engaged and patient-centric care across the care continuum was challenging along with having multiple practice sites,” VA officials said.

Mercy health network partnered with health IT vendor Innovaccer to develop a data activation platform that identifies patient risk to align services provided by MercyOne. The platform includes community-based patient engagement resources, seamless data integration, and information exchange.

The results of this collaboration include a 7.14 percent reduction in the 30-day readmission rate. Additionally, MercyOnce saw a 300 percent increase in health coach interventions.

The playbook also highlights a case study from Nebraska Medicine, a health system with two hospitals and 1,000+ physicians. Since 2009, Nebraska Medicine has been using an Epic EHR platform.

After providers reported inefficient documentation processes, Nebraska Medicine introduced an EHR optimization project to streamline clinical workflows.

The health system leveraged Nuance Communications’ Dragon Medical One, an enterprise-wide, cloud-enabled voice recognition platform that allows physicians to use their mobile devices to dictate notes from anywhere.

The intervention led to a 23 percent reduction in transcription costs. Additionally, 94 percent of end-users reported that the software helps them do their jobs better, and 71 percent of users said documentation quality improved significantly.

Phases two and three of The Playbook: Digital Healthcare Edition will launch over the next year. Phase two will focus on sharing digital health adoption and deployment resources, and phase three will center on providing a digital health product evaluation framework.

“Health and healthcare has been put front and center for the entire world by the COVID pandemic,” the playbook authors wrote. “Now is the time to seize the opportunity and embrace health as a priority. Digital health solutions embedded into the culture and practice of healthcare will drive individualization of care in a way that will truly benefit our most important stakeholders: our patients.”