Data dilemmas: Remedies to FQHC information challenges
Value Based Care
Dakisha Allen, MBA, MHA, Head of Product
In today's world, data is seemingly everywhere. Want to track your workouts? Analyze your sleep patterns? Learn about the nuances of your screen time use? The information can easily be at your fingertips.
However, that doesn’t mean that what’s presented is necessarily useable. Data points without context don’t pave the way for actionable changes. And just like an in-depth sleep analysis might leave you more flummoxed than rested, an onslaught of patient information can be more frustrating than it is helpful.
For FQHCs, data dilemmas have a particular nuance. That’s why our latest eBook, Data dilemmas: Why value-based care contracts can remain out of reach for FQHCs without help from innovative technological partners, explores how the right third-party technology partner can help Community Health Centers tackle these concerns and improve patient care. Keep reading for an excerpt from the eBook below:
FQHC status quo: For FQHCs, providing medical care without considering the social factors that impact the health of the populations they serve is akin to washing your hands and drying them in the dirt. However, accessing streamlined SDOH data isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Data dilemma: While the clinical documentation, codification and standardization ofSocial Drivers of Health data has become a priority over the past few years, entering this information into a patient’s chart is still far from standard practice. However, the patient populations that FQHCs serve are often disproportionately impacted by these metrics – like lack of easy access to transportation or healthy foods. And, even when SDOH are documented in a patient’s chart, they’re often denoted in free-form text via the notes section of the EHR. This makes the information difficult to access without the aid of more advanced technologic solutions, like natural language processing (NLP).
Impact to value-based care goals: Working with patients to prevent and manage long-term, chronic conditions is a hallmark of payment in the value-based care model. However, even if a patient is diligent about managing their diabetes, follows up at the appropriate intervals and has a provider at his or her FQHC that serves as a partner in care, it’s extremely difficult to keep the disease under control without access to healthy food options.
How tech can help: Chances are, if one patient at an FQHC struggles to keep their diabetes under control because calorie-dense, nutrition-poor foods are frequently their only option, they’re not alone. And not all patients feel comfortable sharing sensitive details about their financial, housing or employment situation.
That’s why having access to collective information about SDOH can be critical for FQHCs who understand the importance of considering these challenges. With up-to-date information showing which SDOH metrics affect their patient population the most, they can take measures to mitigate the morbidity.
Take the example of the community and patient mentioned above. Giving this hypothetical FQHC access to data showing that many of their diabetic patients live in food deserts sets them up to provide successful solutions –like creating a low-cost food mart on the premises.