Connecting Vision with Information Technology

After over 25 years of successfully serving our clients, HCIC has ceased active operation as of January 1, 2020. We thank all our friends and clients for so many wonderful years. You may continue to contact our principals through their HCIC email addresses.

HCIC was founded in 1990 to assist organizations in health care information technology management. HCIC is a healthcare consulting organization that focuses on optimizing information resources, people, systems, and technology through expertise in value based planning, organizational management, readiness assessment, process improvement, healthcare standards advisement, health information,and technology integration.

HCIC Principals

HCIC News from our Clients

Truven Top 100 Hospital Scores Measure 'Leadership Impact'

Congratulations to our clients Virginia Hospital Center and MedStar St. Mary's who made the top 100 list. The Truven list is different than other scorecards as it is designed to measure "the impact of hospital leaders, and what they emphasize within their organizations providing a longer-term picture of the impact of leadership in driving improvement forward."


Project Examples

Meaningful Use Readiness Achievement of MU Benefits & Provider Adoptions
Program Management Portfolio Management for a Medical Center
Strategic Planning Development of IS Strategic Plan
Clinical Systems Program planning for Clinical Systems
Contract Negotiation Alignment of Incentives
Market Analysis Viability of HIE Market
Strategy & System Selection Replacement of a Medical Information System
Administrative Data Exchange Planning & Implementation Support
Clinical Data Strategy Clinical Data Product Analysis

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Hot Topics

May 2020

Healthy Healthcare

Much has been written, debated and discussed about the many problems with healthcare in the United States, including pressing concerns about coverage, access, quality and affordability. We all know that the US far outspends all other countries yet our health as a nation lags most developed nation. Hopefully, all would agree that everyone should have full access to affordable and quality healthcare. For this to happen in our economy, we need a healthcare system that both provides access to care for all and makes patients and populations healthier.

How can we accomplish this?

• Meaningful, actionable data is the foundation – without it, optimal and efficient care on a national level is impossible. Medical history, test results, medications, demographics and more are needed to deliver the best and most efficient care. It should be abundantly clear that more information can lead to better decisions and therefore better results. Data Sharing (interoperability) is essential to provide the comprehensive information needed for efficient quality care. Comprehensive data gathered from multiple sources must be usefully aggregated and organized for ease of use by patients, authorized healthcare providers, institutions, and technology companies.

• Since there are costs to achieving interoperability, the Payment System should include changes to make the benefits of interoperability profitable, or at least to mitigate some of the expenses. This means that Payment should be tied to following clinical and financial “best practice” for the process (“protocols”) and outcomes of care. In brief, an optimal payment system would reward keeping or making patients healthy. The profits would come from the delivery of high-quality care and streamlined operations. This new Payment System does also require comprehensive information to be available from, and to, all of the institutions and companies that are involved with the patient’s care and health status.

Plans and Next Steps

In order to reach that stage of industry adoption of fully deployed Data Sharing (interoperability) and a new Payment System, here’s a summary of what will be needed.

  1. Security and privacy. Each healthcare stakeholder in the health care community must establish bulletproof security—a weak link exposes all to risk. Similarly, what can be shared must be understood and articulated.
  2. Infrastructure. Cost, particularly on the provider side, has proven to be one of the principle obstacles to data sharing, but the infrastructure used to connect data sharing networks has to be scalable and adaptive
  3. Consistent standards. Connected systems require standards like FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources). that are consistent and universally adopted. The financial, transportation and other sectors are excellent models.
  4. Carrots and Sticks – all sectors of the system respond to financial incentives, both to avoid penalties and to increase revenue.
  5. Incentives. Interoperable systems must be co-joined with value-based incentives to spur adoption.
  6. “Quick wins:” We don’t need to wait for years for this transition to be complete in order to gain benefits. There are plentiful examples of pilot and demonstration programs, as well as established approaches, that have been effective in particular geographies, populations, etc. Those programs demonstrating repeatable and sustained benefits can be used as the initial steps in rolling out the larger model.
  7. Leveraging the data. The true value that data delivers is the potential for rich analytics, correct decisions, and answers to important health questions—Artificial Intelligence, population health, virtual health and patient generated health data sourced from healthcare’s ever-expanding touch points.
Hot Topics in Health Care is a feature produced by Joan Duke, Principal, Health Care Information Consultants.