Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Here Is The US Approach To What We Call Wave Sites. Looks A Bit Smarter and Better Planned To Me.
This appeared a few days ago.
By Tom Sullivan, Editor, Government Health IT
The Beacon Communities proved that organizations can advocate changes to how healthcare is paid for by working with payers and providers, while improving quality and safety at the same time — lessons learned locally but applicable to the entire nation, said Farzad mostashari, MD, national coordinator for health IT. “These were the pillars of the Beacon Community activities, and they taught us,” Mostashari said. “They showed what we needed to do.”
Mostashari spoke May 22 during an online event titled The Beacon Community Experience: Illuminating the Path Forward. The idea was to assess how the 17 Beacon Communites had fared over the past three years. The 17 communities across the country were funded by ONC with $250 million to serve as models for changing healthcare. ONC named 15 communities at first, and added two later.
Changing large health plans' payment structure for a single community is one example of an idea that just didn’t make sense; another was the reality that getting data out of EHRs so caregivers can work as teams was just too hard in many cases.
“We needed national movement,” Mostashari said. “We needed national standards because the vendors couldn’t build something just for you.”
Mostashari announced the release of a learning guide for "Beacon Nation." ONC describes the guide as encompassing approaches, lessons learned and best practices of Beacon Communities in implementing automated alerts triggered by admission, discharge and transfer events, all with the goal of helping communities improve chronic disease care and reduce readmissions.
“When we look back over the last three years, we’ve accelerated many of the objectives – lot of the vision we had in mind when we started our work," said Patrick Gordon, director of government programs at Rocky Mountain Health Plans and the program director of Colorado Beacon Consortium. "A lot of times it’s easy to just be consumed by the challenges and the next generation of work ahead of us. But, really, the learnings, the experiences, the networking and the trust fabric that’s been built over the last three years is incredible,” “And I do believe that those kinds of experiences are universal … and certainly not limited to any particular community.”
This would seem to say there has been some useful progress. I saw an article about 12 months ago that explained what these sites did.
By Gienna Shaw
Created Apr 18 2012 - 11:08am
The 17 Beacon Communities  are funded to the tune of millions of federal dollars--and the healthcare industry as a whole has a huge opportunity to get a significant return on that investment.
The Beacons, under the aegis of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, have been steaming along with a variety of pilot programs that use healthcare technology to improve healthcare delivery, quality and population health--and cut costs, to boot.
In other words, the Beacons are working on problems that the entire industry is desperately trying to solve. And now they're poised to share what they've learned, not only from their successes, but also from the lessons they can share about what hasn't worked so well.
"We're looking [to] our Beacon Communities to play a substantive role in informing the national dialogue and in building allies across the country ... participating in learning collaboratives, interacting with trade associations--whatever that might look like," Jason Kunzman, an ONC project officer who oversees five of the Beacon Communities, said in a recent National eHealth Collaborative  webcast that featured the Western New York Beacon Community  and the Southeast Michigan Beacon Community .
"In the true sense of what a Beacon is [what they're doing] doesn't matter unless someone is actually looking at the light of the beacon," Kunzman said. "So we're looking at 2012 and beyond as an opportunity to really get the word out about the approaches and successes and lessons learned that each of our awardees have assembled during the course of their time with us at ONC."
Kunzman shared the progress and aims of several Beacon Community objectives, from better health information exchange  to fighting chronic disease through mobile health and wellness programs :
Lots more here:
This is really a good example of what Government can do best. Provide seed funding on a competitive and transparent basis to explore the cutting edge in areas like mobile health, patient engagement as well as more basic things like health information exchange while at the same time actually measuring how well things are going in terms of the three aims of improved health, better healthcare delivery and a lower cost.
I like the sound of all this, and the approach, a great deal and will look forward to seeing what finally flows as time passes. The first article certainly suggest real value is happening and reporting back to all the stakeholders
I wonder will we see similar measures applied to the Wave sites and have transparency here as to what is being achieved? Is anyone seeing to date what the funds have delivered in any concrete sense other than a system which does not seem to be all that much used as yet? Certainly measurement of any health impact has yet to happen. Lessons learnt from the Wave Sites are also thin on the ground as far as I know.
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Wednesday, May 29, 2013