Yesterday was Oct. 1, which means a major milestone of U.S. health reform—the target date for all the state Health Care Marketplaces to be live—is behind us. Now that this first milestone of the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has come and gone, what’s ahead?
As we all know, Oct. 1 was just one of many milestones as health and human services (HHS) organizations continue to strive toward the triple aim: improving the patient care experience (quality), improving the health of populations and reducing per capita costs of healthcare. Modernizing and connecting siloed systems is a critical component of achieving the triple aim. And “On the Road to a 21st Century Business Model,” a report recently released by the American Public Human Service Association’s (APHSA) National Workgroup on Integration, finds that while HHS organizations are progressing toward that end, they still have a ways to go.
The good news is that today’s technology trends—not to mention unprecedented and not likely to be repeated federal financial support—can help propel modernization efforts forward. I’m excited to discuss three of the most relevant IT trends for HHS organizations at the upcoming APHSA IT Solutions Management (ISM) for Human Services Conference at 1:00p on Oct. 7. Here are the technology megatrends with the biggest potential impact to HHS as I see them:
- Cloud services accelerate technology delivery and efficiencies. With the flexible delivery models that cloud services offer, the time to deliver technology solutions has been greatly reduced. This means HHS organizations can quickly meet staff, citizen and organizational needs and at the same time improve efficiency and lower costs. Microsoft offers a complete range of public, private and hybrid cloud solutions so that HHS organizations can choose whatever combination best meets their needs. You can hear one of our customers discuss their decision on cloud deployment during the session on Monday, October 7.
- Connected systems and data enable client-centered, collaborative care. Today’s open and interoperable technologies offer many ways to connect systems—and the data in those systems. Taking advantage of Microsoft connected HHS technology frameworks and solutions, HHS organizations can connect systems across the care and services continuum to enable a complete view of a patient. HHS organizations can also use Microsoft Dynamics CRM for case coordination so that care teams can share the latest information and collaborate better to improve outcomes. During the Top IT Trends session on Monday, Oct 7 at 1pm, Russell Nicoll, the CIO from the State of Tennessee, will discuss how his team is using the Microsoft platform to coordinate care for citizens with developmental disabilities.
- Mobility solutions empower caseworkers and engage patients. Today’s mobility and device technologies have come a long way. With full-featured tablets and smartphones powered by Windows 8, caseworkers and clinicians can access the information and apps they need at the point of care—whether at a person’s home, in a clinic, or at a foster care facility. Today’s mobility solutions can also improve patients’ access to health information and services. At ISM, we’ll have a device bar and will be demonstrating how today’s mobile technologies are empowering HHS professionals, engaging patients and empowering mobile caseworkers.
I look forward to seeing you at ISM, where Microsoft, along with our partners and customers, will share examples of how HHS organizations are taking advantage of these three technology megatrends to further the triple aim. Join me for the session on Monday, Oct 7 or visit me in the booth and let me know what you think about using these new technologies and innovations to meet the next wave of health reform milestones.
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