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Dell, healthcare and decision automation

Interesting piece in Business Week - Dell Takes Health Care Online - about Dell's use of technology in helping its employees manage their health. There is a clear movement to the use of Consumer Directed Health Plans (CDHPs) and this is just one example of using technology to move in that direction.

Now if we were to take an Enterprise Decision Management approach to this, what else might we do?

  • We might use a rules-based approach to automate data management and integrate data coming in from disparate sources, perhaps incorporating medical best practices with our own procedures and policies.
  • We could use business rules to make the employee records more accurate and informative by capturing not only what was done for the patient, but why. Rules, for example, can intelligently append relevant patient data to the procedural record, document the governing protocol and associate reasons codes with the treatment.
  • We could give the employees better decision-making tools by using rules, predictive models and medical decision strategies to help employees and their spouses compare the costs and benefits of various traditional and nontraditional high-deductible plans, understand the tradeoffs, and correctly weight the various factors affecting plan selection. We could imagine going further and giving employees a tool to make health plan decisions in the context of their overall financial picture.
  • We could use predictive analytics and rules developed by medical staff to give employees more information about the likelihood that they or a family member may develop a chronic illness
  • We could predictive analytics to identify employees who could benefit from disease management programs, and help others avoid the necessity. We could assess the likelihood that an employee will develop a chronic disease by analyzing a wide range of data. Based on company-specified thresholds and rules, employees in high-risk groups could get recommendations for treatments and optimal intervention

And so on. Electronic Health Records are just the beginning - what they allow in terms of decision management in healthcare is where the benefits really come.

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