Until the ‘90s, software development followed “heavyweight” processes. First, the the planners got to work. They handed over to the analysts. Then came the software developers, and finally the testers. This siloed approach of experts working in their bubbles was supported by long preparations, waterfall project management and big, infrequent releases.
Too often the result was software over budget, released after the deadline and failing to answer evolved customer needs since these were expressed way back at the beginning of the project. All of this changed with the advent of Agile software development, where a multidisciplinary team of the same profiles worked together in short cycles, focused on delivering bite-sized pieces of the software that represent actual value to the customer.
Since then, Agile has become the dominant paradigm in software development.
Delivering optimal care for a patient in any care journey can be seen as a complex project; much like developing software but arguably much more complex. Imagine organizations managing agile software development processes with Word and Excel. Those days are long gone. They use advanced digital tools that support seamless collaboration in dedicated workflows that are continuously analyzed and improved thanks to these tools.
Compare this digital sophistication with how care teams design, operate and optimize their care processes. During the COVID-19 crisis, the WHO and national organizations communicated the guidelines to deal with the crisis in PDFs; in the form of text and bullet points on websites; through static flowcharts and other archaic formats.
Care teams across the globes are reading clinical protocols off written documents, or plowing through flowcharts to understand what is the next step. Worst case, they think they know what's next but their memory is not aligned with evidence-based practice. On the patient's side, a lack of visibility in what's next makes them incapable of becoming more proactive and becoming more healthy.
The world is running on digital, dynamic workflows but healthcare is stuck with processes documented in PDFs, docs and flowchart tools.
We believe it is a widespread misunderstanding that a switch from the siloed, fee-for-service care delivery model to outcomes-driven, Value-Based Healthcare is a challenge that can be solved by capturing more data alone. It is capturing data in combination with a continuous evolution of the care delivery process that will lead to results.
Collecting outcomes data without tying it back to the care process that led to those outcomes is meaningless. Not using outcomes to change behavior and overhaul processes is wasting the effort of collecting them. But as long as care delivery processes are documented in PDFs and patients are managed with old systems built on the wrong foundations (yes, EMRs, looking at you), only focusing on capturing data will keep on failing to move the needle.
It’s time for a second wave in healthcare. Where the first wave was about data, the second wave is about the workflow and care process. And that's where CareOps comes in.
Join us in the dialogue around making care teams and patients work better together, automate routine tasks to save time and continuously improve their practice to drive better outcomes and lower cost of care.