New Survey Shows Mixed Results for Care Management Software Functionality Highlights Trends Over Past Five Years

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Trend Report series published by TCS Healthcare Technologies, the Case Management Society of America, and the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians focuses on the results of the 2012 Health IT Survey indicates an unforeseen decline in basic system functionality for most stakeholder groups, with the exception of survey respondents associated with care management programs.

For those who are in care management field, the results give us hope that real advancements are taking place in the automation of care management processes that should aid clinical and financial outcomes in the future.

A recent study focusing on health information technology (HIT) trends for health care professionals indicates an unforeseen decline in basic system functionality for most stakeholder groups, with the exception of survey respondents associated with care management programs. This is one of several findings in a new Trend Report published by sponsors of the 2012 Health IT Survey: TCS Healthcare Technologies (TCS), the Case Management Society of America (CMSA), and the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians (ABQAURP).

Trend Report #3: Care Management IT Functions, one of a nine-part series, showcases the impact of various HIT applications on the medical management field, examines the role of care management software applications in the larger arena of health information technology, and identifies primary trends in system functionality to support care management interventions and patient care.

"The three surveys conducted over the past five years represent the largest research effort to assess the opportunities and challenges associated with IT innovations in the care management arena and reveal the tremendous potential," says Rob Pock, TCS founder and CEO. “If you are involved in the practice of care management or health information technology, this is a must-read series.”

Trend Report #3 focuses on the system functionality of workflows and processes associated with treating the chronically ill and others who need support as they navigate through a number of different clinical settings. This analysis focuses on how different types of providers are integrating the following functions in their software systems: care plans; adherence guidelines; population stratification and predictive modeling; financial and clinical outcomes reporting; time management tracking; and calculating acuity and caseload levels.

“What makes this study so helpful is the tracking and reporting of key health IT trends over a period of time,” states Cheri Lattimer, executive director of the Case Management Society of America (CMSA). “This information should assist clinicians and others to make more informed decisions about how to adopt and implement new IT solutions in health care.” Each of the three studies has been designed and supervised by a panel of leading experts in the field.

Over the five-year period that the HIT survey has been administered, most survey respondents have reported a decrease in care management software functions. From 2008 to 2010, the survey results showed a decline in eight of the 13 functions measured; between 2008 and 2012, the trend showed a reduction in 14 out of 15 functions measured. In contrast, 2012 respondents affiliated with care management programs reported an increase in the use of key HIT software functions when compared to the entire 2008 and 2012 respondent population.

“The general trend of diminished IT functionality is perplexing,” says Garry Carneal, JD, MA, a primary researcher on the survey project since 2008. “The analysis indicates a number of overlapping reasons that might help explain the disparate trend lines between the large respondent pool and the sub-group associated with care management programs. However, for those who are in care management field, the results give us hope that real advancements are taking place in the automation of care management processes that should aid clinical and financial outcomes in the future.”

Trend Report #1: Introduction & Methodology Overview provides a background on the survey methodology, participants and sampling technique. The first three Trend Reports can be viewed or downloaded on a complementary basis at http://www.tcshealthcare.com in the News section, or by visiting http://www.cmsa.org.

Trend Reports #4-9 will be published over the next several months. Those interested in receiving copies of the remaining reports as they become available can sign up in the Events section of http://www.tcshealthcare.com. The TCS website also contains other valuable resources and information, including links to the webinar series showcasing the results of the survey.

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About the Co-Sponsors

TCS Healthcare Technologies (TCS) is a leading provider of software and clinical solutions that support and improve population health management strategies for health plans, insurers, providers, third-party administrators, medical management companies, and others. TCS is recognized as one of the premier health care software companies in the United States designing, offering, and hosting a number of products and services. The TCS Acuity Advanced Care® application provides a comprehensive and integrated care management software system for Utilization Management (UM), Case Management (CM), Disease Management (DM), and Prevention/Wellness (PW) services.

For more information: (530) 886-1700; http://www.tcshealthcare.com.

American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians, Inc. (ABQAURP), is a non-profit education and certification board that has certified over 9,800 physicians, nurses and other health care professionals in Health Care Quality Management (HCQM) and Patient Safety. Established in 1977, ABQAURP is the nation's largest organization of interdisciplinary healthcare professionals. ABQAURP is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) as a provider of Continuing Medical Education, and by the Florida Board of Nursing as a provider of Nursing Credit. For more information: (800) 998-6030; http://www.abqaurp.org.

Case Management Society of America (CMSA), established in 1990, is the leading non-profit association dedicated to the support and development of the profession of case management. CMSA serves more than 11,000 members, 20,000 subscribers, and 75 chapters through educational forums, networking opportunities, legislative advocacy and establishing standards to advance the profession.

For more information: http://www.cmsa.org; Twitter @CMSANational.

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