Networking News

Solid HIT Infrastructure Supports Population Health Management

Population health management takes a toll on health IT infrastructure as organizations move towards value-based care initiatives.

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- The population health management market is expected to grow significantly over the coming years, driving the demand for organizations to build up their HIT infrastructure with more advanced data analytics tools.

A recent Grand View Research report predicts that the population health management market will grow from $20.7 billion in 2015 to $89.5 billion in 2025. The increase of chronic diseases and geriatric population costs healthcare organizations more money.

Healthcare organizations need to reduce expenses while providing patients with better quality care by exchanging fee-for-service to value-based care, which massively affects population health management.

Organizations are implementing better infrastructure technology to contain rising healthcare costs while implementing value-based care systems and effective disease management.

Healthcare organizations are finding that population health management solutions are enabling better disease management, reducing inpatient stays, and are decreasing observation hours. Population health management helps clinicians diagnose and treat patients faster and more accurately, making it essential to healthcare organizations with value-based initiatives in their future.

Population health management aggregates patient data from different resources for analysis. With more patient data, clinicians can make more accurate diagnoses and provide quicker treatment. This speed and accuracy reduces hospitalizations and unnecessary revisits.

Health IT is moving away from the basics of electronic health record (EHR) systems and are using more technical analytic solutions to make use of all the data coming in. Health IT is greatly assisting population health management by providing organizations with interoperability between health systems.

Population health management cannot be fully utilized in a value-based program if an organization does not have the storage capacity to handle the data, the network to support connected medical devices communicating data, or the analytics solution to sort through unstructured data.

Organizations preparing their health IT infrastructure for population health management must first consult their wireless networks to ensure they are fast enough and have enough bandwidth to support the devices.

A modern hospital room can have as many as 15 connected medical devices communicating with the network periodically. While connected medical devices don’t take up as much bandwidth as other devices, the traffic can add up, especially in larger hospitals. Testing the network during peak hours is one way organizations can ensure the network can handle the increased traffic.

Organizations also need to make sure the network recognizes priority traffic over non-priority traffic, so mission critical devices such as monitors and clinician devices are communicating with the network over guest devices or personal clinician devices.

Before an analytics solution can be implemented, organizations need to be sure their current storage solutions can handle the influx of data. Many organizations are migrating their data to cloud or hybrid storage solutions for scalability and elasticity in anticipation of a high volume of data.

Cloud storage offers organizations storage solutions that scale up as organizations collect more data. Cloud storage tends to be less expensive in the long term and easier to backup and recover in the event of an outage or emergency.

Software-defined data centers are also an option for flexible clinical data storage. Software-defined data centers use virtualization to automate and abstract data center resources to eliminate hardware and scale up their health IT infrastructure.

Healthcare analytics solutions are expected to grow right alongside population health management as more organizations deploy value-based care initiatives. Solid network infrastructure, along with scalable storage, allows analytics solutions to use unstructured data by reformatting it into structured data and making connections between data points.

Analytics solutions makes population health management function effectively so organizations can move from fee-for-service to value-based care. Without a dependable healthcare wireless network and an elastic storage solution, organizations cannot fully deploy an analytics solution for population health management.