So, I Have This Data — Now What?

Health care data is important, but it’s what physicians, hospitals, and health systems do with the data that really matters. How do you use this data and apply it to your practice to get meaningful results, as we transition to value-based delivery systems and their corresponding reimbursement systems?

That’s the emphasis of the latest online, on-demand courses that have just been released as part of the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s (PAMED) ongoing volume to value educational series that combines online courses and live workshops. This series — which offers CME —is facilitated by PAMED member Ray Fabius, MD, a nationally respected expert in quality and population health. View the curriculum here.

The latest online courses will help you with real-world implementation of quality and process improvement:

  • Practical Health Informatics: Understanding Data and Applying It to Your Practice
  • Using the Data Toolbox in Your Practice

You can get the tools you need to prepare your practice for budget-based reimbursement, where patient outcomes are key.

“We’ll get there, but I think we’ll get there more quickly and with fewer speed bumps if doctors are as engaged as this education can enable them to be,” said PAMED member Jaan Sidorov, MD, who attended the first live workshop in June.

Register now for all six online courses—they’re free for members. The first four online sessions are available now.

You can also register for the final live workshops on Oct. 9 in Harrisburg. Participants can access hands-on exercises and engage in valuable discussion with colleagues.

“The biggest takeaway for me was change is really beginning to happen at the speed of light,” said Dr. Sidorov. “I think a lot of it [the volume to value movement] is going to happen at the ground level, so the June 7 workshop really enabled me to think more intelligently about what I can do locally, with my hospital, with my elected representatives, to advocate for the right decision making.”

Carmine Cerra, MD, who attended the first workshop and is on the hospital board and chairs the performance improvement committee at Pocono Medical Center, said “We’re constantly talking about value-based purchasing, value-based measures, and educating the medical staff and the board, so this [the workshop] has been a very good exercise in learning how to use some of the value-based measures and how they are going to apply as we go forward. It was a very useful conversation.”

Convert Knowledge to Improvement: How to Use the Data Toolbox

What can a data toolbox do for you? It can help you address these questions:

  • Did I improve results?
  • Did I reduce the costs of health care?
  • Can I reduce the impact poor health has on productivity and community prosperity?
  • Can I track seasonal changes?
  • Is an improvement under control?
  • What is a good metric?
  • How can I track the performance of my practice using a balanced scorecard?
  • What application does this have for credentialing and recertification?

One example of measuring improved results that Dr. Fabius cites is a study of personalized messaging sent to patients. The study shows that the messaging helped increase patient usage of preventative services like colorectal cancer screening and influenza vaccines.

Practices can also use data to help patients manage chronic diseases. A practice may be interested in creating a program to help patients manage diabetes, for instance. These practices can use data, including lab encounters and claims in order to identify patients and measure activities like a patient’s adherence to medication.

You can find more real-world examples like the ones above by registering now for the online courses and live workshops.