Health care data. It’s everywhere and it’s available in massive volumes. But what should be done with it? How can you corral it and use it to your best advantage? That’s where SRG Technology comes in: it uses the data to drive outcomes.
As Neil Sterling, president of SRG Technology, explained, "The foundation of our company is the idea that all of the data that is being gathered in health care is not just electronic records – it’s practice management data, it’s financial data, it’s laboratory data, it’s a whole array of data that is not being very well used. And that’s why the application of our suite of software in health care is in the area of population health management."
Sterling said that population health management, or PHM, means taking data about patients and understanding what kind of "health population" they belong in. "Let’s say you’re asthmatic, so you could be in an asthmatic population. We’re taking that specific data to understand what is the best intervention or care plan for you. Then we’re organizing and managing the plan, and measuring its effectiveness: we use data to drive outcomes."
Blender™ created by SRG Technology is what is used to drive the outcomes, and TopCare powered by Blender™ is the PHM system SRGT built in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital. While SRGT began developing software four years ago, Sterling said the partnership with Mass General started not quite two years ago when Mass General’s Laboratory of Computer Science was tasked with building the PHM system for Partners HealthCare, the largest health care provider in Massachusetts. "They selected us to build their ideas in PHM in Blender because they saw how appropriate Blender was for the robust approach they wanted to take."
SRG Technology launched TopCare at a recent HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) convention, and Sterling said, "It was fascinating, because everybody was saying, ‘Well, we have all the data, what are we going to do with it?’ That’s what TopCare does, drives care outcomes. Does it have reports for accountability purposes? Of course. Does it have patient engagement? Of course – because how can you drive results around caring for patients without getting patients engaged? What we do in TopCare is provide a comprehensive, unified approach, and it’s getting outstanding results."
He went on to say, "If you’re going to change the models of health care in our country, and you’re going to base them on real information, you’ve got to have software to support that, because prevention and wellness represent continuous care. For example, if you’re a diabetic, we want to understand your problem when you’re pre-diabetic, or before you become a high-risk diabetic. We want to capture and care for the patient as early as possible, and continue as their health needs change."
While Sterling acknowledged that SRGT has been having many discussions with hospitals about the system, he added that it’s not just for large facilities. "That’s why we have such a strong partnership with Mass General – because we’re all dedicated to trying to make a difference. And if you don’t pay attention to small hospitals and physician practices, it’s not going to make a difference.
"Even though some consolidation is going on in health care, a lot of physicians still want to have their own practices. So we are dedicated to providing TopCare to everyone; that’s a big emphasis of our company."
Not only is the technology for entities of all sizes, but it can also be configured to interact with systems already in place. "Every feature and function in our software is configurable, and we’ve done that for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, we don’t want to impose a specific approach on any hospital, because what works in one is different from what works in another. The industry will be dramatically changing over the next decade, so we wanted to provide software that could meet the challenge of being useful to an institution as it changes, and we wanted it to be easy for them. If you think about it, creative problem solving is trying different approaches; but if the system is inflexible, how can that promote creative problem solving? So we built our software to have that benefit. Plus, there is the cost of implementation. We can do some things in literally days that other systems take months to do, so that makes it less expensive."
Sterling concluded, "PHM is still new to the health care industry, but I think we’re going to see most health care providers using some form in the near future." And SRG Technology can help them get there.