Episode Topic: HL7 Da Vinci Project: A Case Study on Early Implementation & Real-World ROI


The podcast "The Dish on Health IT" is brought to you by Point-of-Care Partners, a distinguished health IT consultancy. In the opening minutes of the episode, the hosts, Pooja Babbrah and Jocelyn Keegan, set the stage for a dynamic conversation focused on the HL7 Da Vinci Project and its real-world implementation results.

Introducing their guests, they warmly welcome Anna Taylor, Associate Vice President of Population Health and Value-Based Care at MultiCare, and Heidi Kriz, Director of Medical Policy and Medical Management at Regence. Both guests are not only accomplished professionals but also members of the HL7 Da Vinci Project, where they play pivotal roles as early implementers of the Da Vinci Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR) Implementation Guides.

The hosts underscore the key themes of the episode, which revolve around sharing insights from early implementation projects, understanding the tangible benefits and returns on investment, and exploring how their experiences in the Pacific Northwest can serve as a model for nationwide adoption.

As the hosts and guests delve into the discussion, they shed light on the core issues they are working to address. Heidi Kriz highlights the existing silos in healthcare, where payers and providers often work independently, using different data standards and requiring access to multiple portals. They recognize the need to promote a common language and reduce the administrative burden of healthcare processes. A major area of concern is prior authorization, which often leads to delays in care. Their aim is to make the process more transparent and incorporate it into the provider's workflow, thereby automating several steps that currently require manual intervention.

Anna Taylor supplements this perspective, emphasizing that their goal is to find a many-to-many solution that involves multiple stakeholders. With thousands of members to care for and thousands of providers to collaborate with in the MultiCare Connected Care ACO. To navigate the complexities of these relationships, they aim to streamline data administration, allowing more resources to be devoted to direct patient care. Open standard APIs, like FHIR, play a pivotal role in this quest for a comprehensive, interoperable solution.

Jocelyn Keegan highlights the significance of implementation guides within the Da Vinci Project. She underscores the importance of repeatability and the need to get information to where it's needed, thus improving overall efficiency and user experience.

The hosts and guests underline the role of collaboration as the linchpin of their endeavors. They emphasize the necessity of involving diverse stakeholders, including providers, patients, community organizations, and other contributors to the healthcare ecosystem. The objective is to create a harmonious and collaborative environment that benefits all parties involved.

Heidi Kriz shares the story of how Regence, from a business perspective, became engaged in the Da Vinci Project. The organization's CEO and leadership recognized the need to enhance the member's experience, particularly regarding the prior authorization process. This realization prompted a series of discussions and plans to implement collaborative, interoperable solutions.

In the early moments of this podcast, the stage is set for a conversation that promises to explore healthcare's complexities, emphasize the role of collaboration, and advocate for interoperability. The guests, Anna Taylor and Heidi Kriz, offer valuable insights from both the provider and payer perspectives. They highlight the need for automation, standardized processes, and the creation of a seamless healthcare ecosystem, ultimately aiming to enhance the patient experience and streamline administrative tasks.

When asked about key insights or any “aha!” moments.  Heidi shares that it was realizing the power of collaboration between a payer and a provider. The ability to come together to solve complex healthcare transactions and streamline processes marked a profound shift in their approach. The synergy between MultiCare and Regence in tackling a common goal was a testament to the potential of collaboration in the healthcare ecosystem.

Heidi's second aha moment came when they went live in October 2022. After years of hard work and dedication, seeing their vision become a reality was truly amazing. The initial results were already impressive, but Heidi recognized that they were just scratching the surface of what could be achieved in terms of process automation and instant information delivery.

She also highlighted the importance of involving patients in the process. The ability to provide timely information to both providers and members, enabling them to make the best decisions for their care, was a transformative idea.

Another valuable lesson for Heidi was the necessity of embracing failure as part of the innovation journey. Adapting and making changes based on feedback and evolving needs was crucial, even if it meant not getting everything right the first time.

As for Anna, her aha moment was realizing that the combination of a business-centered approach and the right technology expertise was key to success. It wasn't a matter of choosing between one or the other; both were essential. This perspective underscored the importance of collaboration between these two aspects of healthcare organizations.

Anna also shared the concept of the "magic button," where providers found immense value in a simplified, streamlined process. The idea of having a single point of access to manage transactions and receive instant responses became a game-changer, simplifying the lives of providers and driving home the importance of automation.

Both Anna and Heidi spoke about the remarkable return on investment they experienced. Anna cited the Data Exchange for Quality Measures (DEQM) implementation, where they saw immediate returns by closing quality gaps and receiving financial incentives. The investment in developing these open standard APIs proved to be worthwhile, not only in terms of financial gains but also in making providers' lives easier.

The discussion revealed that the journey to healthcare transformation through initiatives like the Da Vinci Project is challenging but entirely feasible. Success hinges on a combination of collaboration, transparency, and a willingness to embrace change. The ability to iterate and adapt is essential, and organizations that strategically invest in these initiatives will position themselves for long-term success in the evolving healthcare landscape.

In this podcast segment, Anna Taylor and Heidi Kriz discuss their experiences and insights regarding healthcare interoperability and the impact of open standards and APIs in the healthcare industry.

Anna emphasizes the importance of embracing open standards and APIs, highlighting their potential to transform the healthcare landscape. She encourages organizations to take a close look at their current processes, especially if they are spending a significant amount of time and money on old-fashioned ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) packages. By adopting open standards and APIs, they can free up their employees' capacity, transform their culture, and ultimately improve healthcare.

Heidi adds that the risk of not adopting these technologies is greater than taking the leap. She cites the staggering amount of money wasted due to the lack of open standards in healthcare and emphasizes the potential for financial savings and enhanced patient care through interoperability. She also stresses that putting patients and people at the core of healthcare is vital.

Both Anna and Heidi underscore the importance of community collaboration, particularly through organizations like Da Vinci, which provide resources and support for implementing open standards and APIs. They encourage organizations to start small, focus on foundational changes, and build a culture of transparency and collaboration.

As they conclude, they invite more providers and partners to share their success stories and experiences, urging the community to come forward and tell their stories to inspire and educate others.

In summary, Anna and Heidi emphasize the transformative power of open standards and APIs in healthcare, the necessity of community collaboration, and the need to embrace change to improve healthcare for all. The discussion also highlights the significant impact these technologies can have on productivity, transparency, and patient care in the healthcare industry.

Learn more about this and other Da Vinci Project Implementations: 

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