Updating technology is often fundamental to the success of an integrated delivery system.
Keith Moore, executive vice president with McManis Associates, a Washington-based consulting firm, will use case studies to pinpoint trends in his presentation, "Overall Strategy and IS Strategy: Getting Them Together," set for 1: 15 to 2: 45 p.m. Wednesday, June 23.
Moore will outline the seven value-added components of a successful integrated delivery system:
* Improving quality of care.
* Improving service.
* Improving accessibility.
* Reducing unit costs.
* Adding operating efficiency.
* Strengthening customer relationships.
* Enhancing product offerings.
He believes part of a system's responsibility is to match service providers and payers appropriately.
"If you think of a typical market, you have several types of payers," Moore says. "On the one hand, you have a Disney. Disney employees turn over every two years, and the company is hard-nosed about healthcare. The company wants a good price and a no-frills option. Then you will have other employers that want the opposite spectrum of care including reasonable mental health and wellness programs."
While providers now market to employer groups and insurance plans, in the future they may target individual households. The growth and increased access to information on the Internet has led to a consumer-driven market.
"A growing group of households want quite a bit of their healthcare information and transactions over the Internet," Moore says. "They really want to be able to browse sites to find answers to their problems and be able to e-mail their physicians."
Since physicians have already begun to address individual consumer segments, systems find it more challenging to communicate with physicians and unite them with a common information systems platform, Moore says.
"Because physician groups have begun to choose who they will serve, practices, rather than being homogeneous, are becoming more diverse," Moore says. "This poses a challenge in terms of overall strategy and information strategy."
Another challenge for integrated systems is that Internet-based information systems solutions will begin to close the technology gap between large systems and independent practices or small hospitals.
"Integrated delivery systems are investing in technology faster than small systems, but that lead will go away," Moore says. "The systems will compete based on how they use the technology and the extent by which they can get their physicians to work together as a group. Integrated systems may continue to have some advantages in terms of communication between physicians, but they won't have technical advantages."