September 2, 2022

Building a CareOps platform

How often have you heard a patient or their loved ones say they didn’t know what was about to happen next? Or further down the care journey?

The sad thing is, this lack of visibility is not because care providers don’t think this is important. On the contrary.

Care teams spend tons of time and effort mapping out their workflows and protocols, taking months to bring together evidence-based guidelines, operational and administrative flows and outcomes collection cadences. The result is usually a set of documents in Word, Google Docs or at best, a flowchart in PDF or using tools such as Miro and LucidChart.

Organizations with engineering resources then translate all of this into tickets for their software engineers and again take several months to implement these flows into the apps used by patients and care team. In reality, these processes are only partially implemented due to time and resources constraints. Organizations with less engineering resources don’t even implement anything at all, leaving the care team stuck with books full of protocols. These are supposed to be followed when interacting with patients, causing loads of ClinOps debt.

As a final step, data is visualized and analyzed to determine the quality of care, often with insufficient contextual reference to the process in which the data was collected, like this publication. This is just one example study but we see the same flaw across the board in the majority of studies. Analyzing a snapshot of a specific metric at a point in time hints at the “what” but it fails to answer the “why”: why have readmission rates increased from 2010 to 2017 despite the hospital readmission reduction program? The reason is because the “why” is hidden in what happened or was supposed to happen but didn’t between day 0 and day 90. The day 30 and day 90 snapshot data will never contain the “why” for these readmissions, no matter how much data you collect and analyze. The ability to capture and drive the process of what happens in-between those visits would make the causes of a difference insightful immediately.

If you are paying for care, either as a consumer, employer, health plan or government, would you trust your money with care teams that run their playbooks off of paper and partly implemented processes? Providers that are actually flying blind as to understanding how their processes drive costs and outcomes?

What if a team of decision makers from clinical, product, engineering and compliance work together to design the ideal patient journeys and clinical workflows, and that the results of their work are instantly available to care teams and patients with the push of a button?

What if each patient and individual care team member can log into an app seeing who did what when and what is supposed to happen next?

What if data and insights are being fed in real time to the decision-making team who can use these insights to go back to the drawing board and tweak their processes multiple times per year instead of, well, almost never?

The better a care provider gets at this CareOps lifecycle, the more efficient their teams work together and the higher quality care they deliver to their patients.

Instead of working in silos and doing a lot of back & forward, clinical experts, product managers, engineers and compliance should be able to work collaboratively in one tool, building a single truth of their processes.

Instead of taking a detour via PDF or paper, these processes should be available instantly in the end-user applications.

Instead of ad hoc analysis, real time monitoring of the process and its outcomes should inform decision makers what works and what can be improved.

This is not a vision but reality. It’s driving significant results for care teams and patients today and it’s powered by the CareOps Platform we have built at Awell. A powerful software used by care teams for CareOps automation to build, orchestrate and improve their care flows faster, using less resources and with higher iteration frequency.

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