Link: ACO Informatics Video

Accountable Care Organizations have the task of gathering patient data from wherever it may originate. Care Coordination may also occur wherever the patient is located. Successful strategies for care coordinators begin even before a patient is discharged from the hospital.

Managing large amounts of data requires a robust infrastructure of databases, networks, and the ability to exchange data among ACOs. Analyses of large databases typically use regression analysis techniques for prediction and forecasting. Regression analysis may identify clinical predictors of health that alert staff to declining health situations or when interventions are needed. One of the biggest successes noted by ACO executives was to use predictive analytics to identify high-risk patients for proactive care.

Challenges and barriers related to informatics and technology are often reflective of the knowledge needed to use tools to analyze data. Other barriers include financial investment and operating costs. In addition, hospitals and clinics must be able to exchange patient data for episodes of care in the emergency department, in-patient stays, or clinic visits. Many ACOs use HIEs or Health Information Exchanges to share data not only from hospitals and clinics, but also from specialty providers. CMS Claims data is received monthly and should be stored in a database for analysis. Registries, CMS Reporting, GPRO and performance data sites require secure Internet access. The HITECH Act provides regulations to ensure Privacy and Security of protected health information using various technologies. Of course it should be noted that none of these technologies come without their share of operating costs and can become barriers when knowledgeable staff are not available.

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