The stiff regulations proposed by the government for the formation of Accountable Care Organizations have created a host of opportunities for data warehousing. Until now, data warehousing was a luxury that only large healthcare providers enjoyed. However, with IT becoming a core competency for ACOs, it is evident that small providers will have to implement data warehousing in their practices. One of the requirements for ACOs is the Medicare Shared Savings Program, which requires at least 50% of primary care doctors to be users of EHR. With the ACO program starting in 2012, the participant providers would not only need to be proficient in EHR by 2012, but would also have to start planning for the analytics for stage 2 implementation.

Data Warehousing: A Must For Healthcare Providers

With each provider designated responsibility of managing a quantum of data, according to experts, the traditional EHR systems would not be able to aggregate and analyze data for improved quality of care. The EHR module won’t be sufficient for adequate participation in reimbursements programs defined for ACOs. Organizations would need data warehousing not only to get insights into their own data but also to setup better patient data analytics and payment reporting mechanisms. Here are some of the benefits data warehousing would offer providers looking to join ACOs.

•    Better care coordination: Implementing data warehousing would help organizations analyze patient data effectively to implement best clinical practices and establish registries, directories, automated CRM for rationalizing the operational processes.
•    Visibility into reimbursements mechanisms: Data warehousing assists in upgrading the existing EHR systems functionality while helping to increase visibility of incentives earned and accountability for reimbursements programs.
•    Cost factor: Manually managing all the health IT systems is cumbersome, less productive and proves to be expensive with time. Data warehousing improves efficiency of healthcare organizations while reducing the cost factor drastically in the long run.

While employing data warehousing is the perfect way to create efficiency, better analytical systems and developing best practices, there are some concerns that need to be monitored to capitalize on the technology to the maximum.

Factors Providers Should Consider Before Implementing Data Warehousing

Creating analytics for your practices is a healthy initiative that needs to be supported by proper planning and resources. Some of the factors providers need to take care of to create a sustainable and profitable practice include:

•    Collaborating with vendors: Smaller providers need to team up with local vendors and practices to share the costs and analytical information. This is essential to create a formidable data warehousing architecture as well as negotiate with big healthcare providers leading an ACO.
•    Teaming with research foundations: According to experts, teaming with research foundations would not only sharpen the analytical processes of providers but would also help bring data from disparate systems together. Research foundations would play a big role in filling the gaps in the knowledge domain of any provider.
•    Choosing the right partner: The right partner could share the costs of data collection and warehousing. It is important to collaborate with a big player that could lead to cost savings and ensure that you don’t get swallowed up by bigger practices.

Collaborating with other healthcare entities not only gives you leverage in numbers but also ensures sustainable data warehousing architecture. Employing these practices would help break the monopoly of big hospitals leading ACOs and help carve a niche for smaller healthcare providers.