Moving Up the Healthcare Value Ladder
Computerworld’s Healthcare IT Spotlight blog recently featured an excellent post by Ravi Krishnan, executive director of Kaiser Permanente IT Program Management, entitled, “The four rungs of the healthcare IT value ladder.” As we’ve discussed previously here at Successful Connections, the evolving value-based healthcare marketplace requires that suppliers move away from a purely price-based strategy, and instead begin aligning with provider goals of improved patient outcomes. This means working to move up the value ladder.
The healthcare IT value ladder, as detailed by Krishnan, has four rungs — from lowest to highest they are Inform, Educate, Assist-to-Cure and Prevent. According to the article, most IT activity today in healthcare occurs on the first and second rungs. To ascend to the top, he notes that IT must enable progress; that means delivering technology that improves care and strives to enhance prevention.
The challenge of moving up the healthcare value ladder is not one IT faces alone. It relates to all suppliers, who must view their role more in the context of enabling optimal care, as opposed to low price/best service. The healthcare world is changing. The outcome-based value model is becoming the new normal in the supply chain. Adapting to this new paradigm is the key to vendors moving up the ladder.
In the accountable care era, moving up the value ladder is not a race with winners and losers. The overall system loses if everyone isn’t focused on a more value-based delivery system. Vendors and buyers need to work together to change the conversation — to answer the question, “How does this product/service affect patient flow and outcomes?” Since both sides of the healthcare marketplace are going to be compensated on their ability to affect outcomes, vendors and buyers need to work together for an answer. Moving up the value ladder can be how we measure progress.