Observations from 2018 BCBS Information Management Symposium

I recently attended the 2018 Information Management Symposium in Birmingham, hosted by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama. The purpose of this event was to provide Plan business and technical representatives an opportunity to network and exchange best practices and innovations in the field of information management, information architecture, data warehousing, business intelligence, informatics and analytics – with an end result of delivering actionable business value to the Plans through the power of information assets. I came away with some significant themes that parallel nicely with what emids has been focusing on from a digital transformation perspective. 

Two underlying topics receiving the most attention were data governance and end-user experience. The opening speaker emphasized that there is a significant lack of maturity in our healthcare system, which means we need to focus on setting priorities to best meet consumer expectations. Noting the significant progress that has been made in the retail and financial industries – citing Amazon as a prime example – consumers have come to expect this same type of engagement in their healthcare/patient experience. 

Group reporting, specifically regarding the need to generate more insight into groups and the employees they are partnering with, was a prevalent topic. In addition, attendees agreed that we must utilize provider reports and focus on data mining, practice performance and missed opportunity reports. Also stressed was the need to analyze member interaction, review overall strategy and determine practice performance. The bottom line – consumer expectations have changed, and there is a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done. 

emids has also been focused on these issues, and we are keenly aware of the tremendous influence of consumerism in the healthcare industry. As emids president of payer and digital solutions Praveen Soti mentioned in a recent blog, so many organizations are aware of what they need to focus on, but don’t know where to begin. These companies are really looking for guidance on “which levers to pull first.”  

Another common topic was the need for organizations to recognize employees, be aware of the enormous tasks ahead and methodically plan the necessary steps for digital transformation. It is necessary to build from the talent within an organization whenever possible, and to provide motivation and leverage employees’ soft skills.  

The most exciting part of the symposium was the opportunity to highlight our engagement with BCBS Alabama. emids assisted in developing their Member Interaction Center, which acts as a single platform to provide a 360-degree view of member health engagement. The center also houses crucial information on whether engagement is positively affecting utilization and positive health improvements for their membership. This was a nice tie-in with the symposium’s objective of providing actionable business value through the power of information management assets. 

This year’s symposium was an excellent opportunity to network and gain insights into some best practices and innovations in the fields of information management, data warehousing and information architecture that will provide even more guidance on the continuing journey to digital transformation in healthcare. 

Chiraag Shah is VP of Payer Business at emids. He has extensive experience in provider and payer applications and technology transformation. 

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