In the News: Apr 23–30

Google Cloud Releases API for Data Interoperability 

A recent Becker’s Health IT article highlights Google Cloud’s new application programming interface (API) release to help health system interoperability and data analytics. Google Cloud is making Cloud Healthcare API available to the health care industry to allow providers to intake and manage key elements of health care data.

Many factors are driving the development of interoperability data resources, including the shift from fee-for-service and a greater demand for real-time data and prescriptive analytics. The release of API creates a number of benefits, such as the interoperability and storage of clinical data and the ability to access the data through user-friendly endpoints to allow for easy implementation and scaling. Additional API functions include patient ability to schedule video appointments through Google Meet and platform interfacing to gather Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act–compliant clinical information.

As health care delivery shifts to value-based purchasing, accountable care and population management, organizations will demand a technology platform that delivers far more than current EHR systems. To learn more about how your technology platform will need to evolve depending on key market-specific factors, please watch the Sg2 on-demand webinar Technology Platform Evolution.

Barriers Limit Community Health Partnership Building

A recent PatientEngagementHIT article discusses how many health care providers and social services organizations have formed community health partnerships, but there are difficult barriers to implementing them—such as risk perception and reputation and long-term funding and sustainability—and differences in the way each group perceives these barriers.

One of the most prominent obstacles for community partnerships is associated with risk perception—an important factor for whether organizations decide to collaborate or not due to the belief that undesirable outcomes may occur in the future. The decision to initiate community health partnerships is very contextual, as both entities have their own bottom line that may contradict one another. Despite the barriers, however, there are also opportunities where interprofessional understanding, trust building and incentives for both entities drive good collaboration.

Today’s heightened focus on social determinants of health, while promising, sheds light on how much work remains for all stakeholders involved. Longstanding data show as much as 80% of health outcomes are attributed to socioeconomic factors and the personal behaviors influenced by them, compared with the 20% or less tied to clinical care. Please read our recently published report Social Determinants of Health: Stitching Together Solutions to learn more about how health systems fit in to the intricate world of social determinants of health.

Traumatic Effects of COVID-19 on Health Care Workers

A recent Scientific American article discusses how health care workers are at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic (eg, experiencing lack of necessary supplies, keeping up with patient surges, facilitating final goodbyes with patients and their loved ones), and as they lean into the extreme uncertainty of their work for months on end, it could significantly impact their well-being.

While it’s not easy to predict the emotional toll that COVID-19 will have, many experts believe health care workers may develop high rates of anxiety, depression, substance use issues, acute stress—and possibly even post-traumatic stress—due to what they are experiencing on the front lines. During the 2003 SARS outbreak, one study found 89 percent of health care workers had negative psychological effects, while another study found symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder were related to fear of SARS.

Some organizations are improving therapy options for providers, utilizing virtual health and flexible scheduling, and setting up support hotlines; however, the stress of both the pandemic and its economic implications is expected to persist well beyond the initial wave of managing COVID-19 patients within the community. Register for our upcoming webinar Behavioral Health Leadership Series: Managing Behavioral Health Needs During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic to hear health care leaders discuss how they’re addressing the current situation and how they’re planning for anticipated behavioral health needs during the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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