How Evolving Technologies Support State Programs and Promote a Connected Healthcare Ecosystem

Date: March 26, 2018||   0  Comments

Brian Erdahl, Deloitte Consulting Principal and State Health Solution Architect, sat down with Healthcare IT Connect’s Rob Waters to discuss how evolving technologies support state programs and promote a connected healthcare ecosystem.

Rob Waters: With organizations focusing on pay-for-performance and health care outcomes, what techniques and technologies can be used to enable these changes?

Brian Erdahl: As organizations continue the migration towards a value-based care world, information architecture takes on a critical role to support the need for enhanced financial and healthcare quality analytics.  In the legacy world, this data typically has been locked in process-oriented systems.  With modularity, data may reside in disparate modules requiring data warehouse technologies to pull the dispersed information together for users.  Beyond this, the information architecture needs the capability to deliver real-time analytics to support workers in their day-to-day work and decision-making.  In addition, the information architecture should define and implement standards, tools, and enforceable service-level agreements (SLAs) to confirm data quality.

RW: In what ways do you envision the emerging “modular health ecosystem” helping states to enable a more connected multi-stakeholder environment?

BE: First, a modular approach allows states to capitalize on existing standards (e.g., X12, HL7, NIST, etc.) within their own ecosystems to move towards the standardized, interoperable environment envisioned by the Medicaid Information Technology Architecture (MITA).  This state modularization and associated standardization unlocks a world of connections with the broader health ecosystem.  The technologies deployed within states open up the ability to connect to a wide variety of information sources, including devices that monitor health readings, health information exchanges, longitudinal member health histories, and more.  Using the current technologies in a secure and open manner has the potential to share information like never before.  In turn, this can provide healthcare providers with appropriate access to information to help make critical healthcare decisions. 

RW: As states look to integrate the modular health ecosystem, how do you see the role of traditional systems integrators (SIs) evolving?

BE: Initially, we are seeing the systems integrator’s role being twofold – first being responsible for implementing an integration platform and an associated set of technologies and then working with other module vendors to implement information sharing through real-time services or traditional batch processes.  Over time, this role evolves to supporting and streamlining state health programs along the lines of MITA’s three architectures – business process, information, and technology.  In this role, the systems integrator helps streamline business processes and implements shared services to support cross-module functions. 

RW: With the shift to cloud-based Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) implementations, what are the implications for a state procuring these services? 

BE: Systems integrators are providing the platforms to integrate disparate modules.  A PaaS model is well-suited for providing the standardized services required to integrate and share information since, by its nature, a PaaS model is based upon standards and reuse.  Likewise, PaaS supports integration across on-premise modules or other cloud-based modules in a secure and efficient manner.  A PaaS model can be an effective approach for states, but there are some important items to keep in mind during procurement.  For example, states should focus on SLAs and less on prescriptive tools, products, or architectures.  Another step is to define key compliance attributes like security standards, regulations, and standardized Application Program Interfaces (APIs).

Join Brian Erdahl on: Thursday, April 5 • 2:45pm – 3:45pm Track 1: Connecting People to an Informed Health Ecosystem | 2018 State Healthcare IT Connect Summit


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