Top of Mind 2020: Patient engagement, data analytics, and precision medicine drive better care, but barriers remain


In partnership with KLAS Research, the CCM’s annual Top of Mind report examines three technology priorities that are essential for the transition to value-based care

As health care continues to shift toward value-based care, technology that boosts patient engagement, harnesses all available data for informed decision-making and enables more effective treatments will be increasingly vital for health systems to succeed.

But limited resources and lack of reimbursement for these technologies remain significant barriers, according to the third annual Top of Mind for Top Health Systems survey from the Center for Connected Medicine (CCM).

[Top of Mind for Top Health Systems 2021 research report examines shifting innovation priorities in the COVID-19 era]

Based on a survey of 70 leaders at 65 health systems across the country, the report focuses on three priority areas:

Managing financial risk drives technology priorities

“Health systems are moving toward a risk-based world where they will have a bigger financial stake in better managing the health of their patients. Having access to complete patient data and analyzing it, keeping patients engaged in their health, and delivering more effective treatments are essential to managing risk,” said Pamela Peele, Ph.D., chief analytics officer of UPMC Health Plan and UPMC Enterprises.

“Finding the money to deploy these important technologies, while managing the other financial pressures health systems face, is a challenge for all health care providers,” continued Peele, who is a member of the steering committee for the CCM, which is jointly operated by GE Healthcare, Nokia and UPMC.

KLAS Research conducted the latest survey from May through August 2019. Nearly half of respondents were chief information officers, while the rest were at the executive and director level.

“We know from our prior research, based on extensive interviews with health system leaders across the country, that data aggregation, patient engagement and precision medicine are high current and future priorities for health systems today,” said Adam Gale, president of KLAS. “As an industry, we have been making good progress in these areas. It will be key for the industry to find ways to continue to innovate in these areas as well as find the right ways to fund these efforts through value-based care as we continue to shift.”

[Top of Mind program focuses on telehealth, AI, and future of digital health with webinar, roundtables, virtual summit]

Key findings from the Top of Mind 2020 report

Patient Engagement

  • Patients are increasingly demanding a digital experience on par with what they have in other, more technologically advanced industries, but adoption is still low.
  • Organizations report that, on average, 35% of patients have adopted the technologies that are available to them.
  • And 82% of survey-takers said their health system’s patient portal, which is commonly an extension of the electronic health record, is the dominant technology for engaging with patients.
  • Read more about why patient engagement is a Top of Mind topic for 2020.

Data Aggregation and Analytics

  • The ability to aggregate and analyze data from multiple sources is essential for health systems that want to produce better outcomes and reduce costs.
  • On average, respondents reported having 71% of data from clinical sources integrated; leaders said an average of 61% of all patient data, including claims and other non-clinical data, was integrated.
  • Limited resources, lack of data standards and poor data normalization were cited as the greatest barriers to complete data aggregation.
  • Read more about why data aggregation and analytics is a Top of Mind topic for 2020.

Precision Medicine

  • With its potential to improve clinical outcomes, precision medicine is a growing area of interest for health systems.
  • However, high barriers to entry and uncertain funding models so far have limited adoption. Nearly 70% of interviewed organizations report low maturity or no deployment of precision medicine efforts.
  • Reimbursement and earning a return on investment were cited as the biggest roadblocks to adopting precision medicine.
  • Read more about why precision medicine is a Top of Mind topic for 2020.

Read previous Top of Mind research reports

The CCM’s Top of Mind 2019 report explored cybersecurity, telehealth, and interoperability.

For the Top of Mind 2018 research, the CCM examined artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, consumer-facing technology, predictive analytics, and virtual care.

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