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Porter/Lee’s Value Agenda Realized: CMT Corp Delivers the HIT Platform for Change

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In the ever-present discussions of healthcare reform, a common buzzword is “value”— defined as the best patient outcomes at the most affordable prices. And a fascinating exploration of the subject comes from a recent Harvard Business Review article by Harvard’s Michael Porter (also the co-author of Redefining Health Care with Elizabeth Teisberg) and Thomas Lee. In the article, Porter calls for a bold re-imagination of the health system as we know it following a “value agenda” with six interlocking components all hinging on a robust HIT platform at its core.

Porter’s wish list matches perfectly with our vision at CMT Corp, and our existing physician collaboration platform is poised to play a significant role in transforming health care into the value-focused system we all wish we had. Here is a look at the six components of Porter’s value-based health system and how we can make it happen:

1. Integrated practice units (IPUs)
For the most part, care today is delivered from silos based around medical specialties—orthopedics, endocrinology, nephrology, etc. But organizing care around a patient’s medical condition in IPUs—teams of coordinated providers—offers a better way to manage illness and prevent complications.

2. Measurement of outcomes and costs
Health care systems can no longer survive by providing treatments without knowing how effective they are or how much they really cost. To effectively deliver care, they need to continuously track outcomes and improve diagnostic and treatment protocols to provide effectual treatments at affordable prices without wasting resources.

3. Bundled payments
Instead of billing for every test, pill, and procedure—the traditional “fee-for-service” model—health care providers should receive “bundled payments” that cover the full cycle of care. This payment approach promotes team work and quality of care.

4. Integrated care delivery systems
While multi-site health organizations are frequently called health “systems,” they don’t all truly integrate care from facility to facility. Real integration ensures continuity of care, makes health delivery less fragmented, and eliminates costly duplication.

5. Geographic expansion
Innovative health systems are using “hub-and-spoke” arrangements—managing complex cases at a main facility and relegating more routine treatments to a growing number of satellite facilities or affiliated centers where care is cheaper to provide. This structure also allows broader coverage and reduces travel for physicians and patients.

6. A supportive information technology platform
According to Porter, the ideal HIT platform must have:
–  common data definitions,
–  templates that make entering, accessing and reading data easy,
–  EHRs that everyone (including referring physicians and patients themselves) can see,
–  the ability to collect all types of patient data—from lab tests to x-rays
–  and a system architecture that allows for measuring outcomes and tracking costs.

This vision for HIT is a perfect match with our Physician Collaboration Platform. CMT Corp’s platform provides every one of the elements outlined as necessary for an ideal system, which in turn support several essential factors in the Value Agenda and inspire a transformation in data-driven, collaborative healthcare.

As Health 2.0 founder Matthew Holt wrote in 2006, “If the Porter/Teisberg concept is to succeed, for technology to bring the expertise of centers of excellence virtually to patients in any setting requires an easy, secure method of combining patient records, workflow information, images, and conferencing technologies online…Possibly using technology like CMT C’s, that promise could become reality sooner rather than in some pie-in-the-sky futures.”

Seven years later we’re no longer just talking about the ideal platform, we have it. Most HIT platforms have focused on digitizing existing healthcare delivery processes and payment systems with in the walls of a hospital or healthcare network, rather than improving cross-enterprise physician collaboration and patient care. At CMT Corp, we have honed our product to meet the needs physicians have for improving patient care, matching the list outlined by Porter and his collaborators, and exceeding it.

In our next blog, we’ll delve into more detail about our Physician Collaboration Platform and how it aligns to Porter and Lee’s #6: Building an Enabling Information Technology Platform. We believe that starting with a capable, adaptable collaboration technology, we can support and inspire the rest of the Value Agenda and foster a transformation in healthcare.

Simon Schurr
CEO & Chairman
Collaborative Medical Technology Corporation


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