In this blog series on the six stages to successful population health management, we have already explored Acquisition, Aggregation and Access – all of which rely on technical ingenuity to realize. By contrast, the next stage, Adoption, truly depends on the human element for success.

Adoption is the ongoing process in which care providers participate in new care models using solutions and procedures enabled by technology. In the case of population health, that technology needs to support a fully integrated care network. Without adoption of technological advancements built on the value of comprehensive patient data, we put ourselves at risk of not meeting evolving patient needs and being left with a reactive healthcare system.

Accepting Change to Accelerate Care Delivery

Adoption requires both a technical and emotional investment. While healthcare organizations want to provide their healthcare providers with the tools needed to access thorough and up-to-date patient data,  many aren’t prepared for the time investment required to learn and implement these solutions, creating a bit of a ‘chicken and egg’ situation. This becomes more common if a solution is too complex rather than user-friendly and intuitive.

In order to facilitate adoption, the IT infrastructure must be seamless and efficient in its patient data interoperation, and it is essential, again, that it be user-friendly and intuitive. A proper IT infrastructure ensures secure access and adheres to safety protocols, without sacrificing direct support to the user. Consultant support, easy-to-use interfaces and knowledge of ambulatory and inpatient workflows are crucial for a health organization to navigate through the complexities of change.

The Benefits of Smooth Adoption

In 2014, OntarioMD introduced the next step in their evolving care delivery capabilities with the rollout of eNotifications. This is a near-real time notification system that lets Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) know when a patient has been discharged from the Emergency Department or has been admitted or discharged as an inpatient.  In less than a year, the pilot has sent over 61,000 eNotifications on HRM from 138 sending facilities. There has been rapid adoption across Ontario, with more healthcare organizations joining at a rapid rate. While the combination of the previous three stages to population health management made eNotifications functional, its ease of use and presentation of high value data helped ensure it was widely adopted.

eNotifcations currently has a 100% review rate by the recipients within seven days of delivery, and a follow-up action always determined. Why is the adoption so high? In part because this solution is properly integrated and interoperable with the HRM, as well as being simple and easy to use, requiring almost no training before use. More importantly, though, there was a profound desire from Ontario clinicians to embrace this technology as they could easily see how to derive value from it.  In just over one year, this adoption has helped to speed timeliness in patient information dissemination, improved physician engagement in follow-up care and had potentially reduced unnecessary hospital admissions by enhancing quality of care during appointments. eNotifications demonstrates that once adoption is realized, technology can go a long way toward ensuring that the right care is delivered at the right time and in the right place.

Like all new technology, there needs to be continuous adoption in order to improve health delivery. In the next post in this series on the six stages to successful population health management, I will explore the many ways in which we can use the power of data analytics.