What They’re Watching: Jack Ijams

Jack Ijams, program manager at 3M Health Information Systems, joins us in this edition of What They’re Watching to talk about measuring data in healthcare.

For us it’s about data. And when we move from a volume-based payment system to a value-based payment system, data is the gasoline in the tank. And without that data or with partially complete and timely data, we don’t have the ability as an industry to really consistently measure the kinds of things we really want to look at, which are outcomes. Which are the end product of: At the end of the day did care improve? At the end of the day was it better quality? Was it lower cost? Was it less hospital utilization? Was it better coordination of care, better integration? We’re not really measuring those things very well today in a consistent way. So data consistency is an issue and data access is an issue.

So one of the challenges, is that they’re sort of, “Who owns the data?” And also a question of the completeness. The higher up in that chain you go from physician to hospital to payer to the state, the more, the wider, the spectrum of available data there is. And so the state I think plays a role in this. And if they want that innovation to happen down in getting more value in their delivered dollar, taxpayer dollar, particularly for publicly paid healthcare, that they have the biggest opportunity to play a role in if legislation is needed, whatever it is to be able to capture that data across the spectrum of healthcare delivery. So it’s every point of data from office to clinic to nursing care to acute care, to pharmacy data and so on. Every piece of data for which you can bill something is valuable data to measure with.

Note: This was recorded at our 2016 Southern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference on Oct. 31, 2016.