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By Timothy Snyder, Jr.

“Forecasts are difficult to make—particularly those about the future.”

― Burton G. Malkiel, A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing

While there is a great deal of uncertainty about the future of health and human services, a couple trends are clear—more “integration”, more reimbursement based on value, and more consolidation. We are seeing a wide range of mergers, acquisitions, collaborations, and new partnership models (see Coming To Grips With The Reality Of Mergers; When & How To ‘Sell’ Being Acquired; and Unlikely Bedfellows). The reasons are straightforward—future competitive positioning and financial sustainability in the face of big system changes.

Matt Dorman, CEO Credible

To make this happen and happen well is where data and your EHR come into play. The right information is essential to demonstrating your organization’s value to potential partners. That was the message in the recent session, How Your EHR & IT Systems Can Optimize A Merger, Sales, Or Acquisition, delivered last month by Matthew M. Dorman, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Credible Behavioral Health Software, at The 2018 OPEN MINDS Executive Leadership Retreat.

Why? Providing key data information to potential affiliation partners is essential to getting the most desirable partners. Your EHR can provide the information about your consumer population and services, about your program performance, and differentiators that makes the case for why your organization would be a strong partner.

Key data points—For truly valuable data, an EHR investment needs to provide a view of granular data that lets users know their population intricately through the data. As Mr. Dorman noted, your EHR holds the keys to understanding how many consumers you serve, the specific needs of your consumers, and your outcomes with those consumers. These key data points are essential to explaining not only your organization’s business model, but also how your organization fits into the market.

Differentiators and “secret sauce”—At a very basic level, an EHR will provide an understanding of populations and services, but with continued data analysis, it can also help to show consumer patterns, population health outcomes, and effectiveness in treatment models. Your EHR can help to demonstrate what makes your programs unique. Using data from your EHR can help to demonstrate the value that your organization brings to the table and how your services can address the pain points of either health plans, or other partners you seek to work with is key to figuring out a place in the market.

How to “tell” the story—An EHR should give an organization data that can be graphed, allowing the information to be presented in a meaningful way to help convince health plans and potential partners of your organization’s value. This, according to Mr. Dorman, is fundamental to an organization’s ability to show what they have that the competition doesn’t.

When organizations are considering new collaborations, they want a clear understanding of the value that potential partners bring to the equation and how the collaboration will provide them with future benefits. The data from your EHR will help to create a clear picture of who your organization is, where you’re headed, and what you bring to the table.

For more on how to get the most value out of your EHR, check out these resources in the OPEN MINDS Industry Library:

  1. Getting That Return On Your Tech Investment
  2. Your Insights For Tech Management & Strategy
  3. For Successful ‘Integration’, It Takes Interoperability & Patience
  4. Is Your EHR Up To The Challenge Of Value-Based Reimbursement?
  5. The Change Iceberg
  6. Tech Management As Executive Competency
  7. Getting More From Your EHR
  8. EHR Implementations: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
  9. Getting ‘Engagement’ From Your EHR
  10. Using Data Can Make Care Coordination More Efficient (& Effective)

Looking for more on health care technology in general, and EHRs specifically? Join OPEN MINDS Senior Associate Sharon Hicks on October 23 at The 2018 OPEN MINDS Technology & Informatics Institute for her session, “Small Scale Technology Planning & Budgeting: A Roundtable Discussion For Organizations Under $25M.”

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