Reorg at McKesson, Will Docs Trust Predictive Analytics & Med Rec

What a crazy week it has been. Yes, it was the week of all things HIT related with the big confab of HIMSS a the Big Easy. I’m literally still trying to sort out all that I saw, all the conversations I had to make some sense of it all. Needless to say, at times it seems that rather than providing enlightenment, the incessant noise of HIMSS just sweeps over one like a tsunami leaving behind debris of all matters.

But we’ll get to HIMSS next week – I promise.

In the meantime, below are just a few of the topics that we covered in our most recent Chilmark Advisory Service (CAS) Monthly Update. The research notes contained within this monthly provide you with a glimmer of some of our current areas of research interest. For example, the reorg at McKesson is but one example of the massive trend (which was readily apparent at HIMSS) of companies repositioning themselves for population health management in support of financially-linked communities of care (e.g., ACOs). Cora’s research in analytics has brought to light some of the challenges that well-meaning executives may face when trying to get clinicians to adopt and use predictive analytics. While Brian’s story delves into the vexing problem of medication reconciliation within a distributed healthcare community.

The abstracts below provide provide a few more details. But far better than abstracts is of course – drum roll please – becoming a subscriber to CAS where you not only receive a wide range of research content from us over the course of a year, but also direct access to our top-notch team of analysts. Want more information? Just drop us a line to info@ChilmarkResearch.com and we’ll be in touch.

Reorg at McKesson Points to Broader Repositioning
In early February, McKesson Technology Solutions went through a major reorganization and the primary beneficiary appears to be RelayHealth. Historically, RelayHealth has seemed little more than a staging area for McKesson-acquired HIT assets that did not fit logically into any other area of the broader McKesson Technology Solutions Group. With the reorg, RelayHealth not only grows in size, it finally appears to have been given a clear and overarching mission: to become McKesson’s solution to enable population health management. ACOs would be wise to take note.

Will Providers Ever Trust Predictive Analytics
Analytics vendors are approaching the clinical market with predictive models as end-alls for population health risk management. However, doctors, nurses, and case managers have their own ideas about what clinical variables really matter, and they can identify their highest-risk patients practically from memory — no fancy models needed. While there are reasons to be optimistic about PA adoption, vendors should brace themselves for a tough market in which clinical intuition will clash with statistics. One option will be to integrate provider-identified variables into vendor models, an approach that will likely infuri­ate the statisticians but could go a long way in overcoming clinician misgivings.

Medications Reconciliation Continues to Challenge HIE Vendors
In best-case scenarios, medications reconciliation can help avoid adverse drug events by pointing out discrepancies such as missing medications, unneeded medications or incorrect doses at patient discharge. Yet even now that HIT solutions built to support safe hand-offs have been widely deployed, the AHRQ attributes 770,000 deaths per year to ADEs. Meaningful use gives PCPs the responsibility for post-discharge medications reconciliation and as of yet, insufficient tools to do so. Thanks to inconsistent process and technologies across providers, the medications lists PCPs have to work with are riddles with irrelevant medication data, (e.g. a three-year old prescription to treat foot fungus) and missing information (e.g. medications paid for out of pocket). Before medications reconciliation lives up to its promise, serious gaps like this will need to be addressed.

Each month, subscribers to the Chilmark Advisory Services (CAS) receive an update of our research on the most transformative trends in the healthcare IT sector. Exclusive to CAS subscribers, monthly updates are part of the continuous feed of information and analysis we generate to keep subscribers on top of the rapid-fire changes in this 

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Chilmark Research is the only industry analyst firm focusing solely on health IT. We combine proven research methodologies with intelligence and insight to provide cogent analyses of the emerging technologies that have the greatest potential to improve healthcare. We do not shy away from making tough calls, and are respected in the industry for our direct and thoughtful commentary.