Health Innovations and Technical Assistance

Health Information and Technology Strategies IconHealth information technology (health IT) and all that it enables is vital to the future of the U.S. health care system.  From coordinating care delivery to empowering health care consumers, information and the tools we use to share it provide the foundation for tomorrow’s possibilities.  Altarum’s Health Innovations and Technical Assistance group is working to modernize our health care system and realize those possibilities in six fundamental ways:

  1. Informing policy and practice through health IT research
  2. Driving transformative change through health IT innovation
  3. Managing change through health IT management and consulting
  4. Fostering practice improvements through directly supporting health IT adoption
  5. Advancing public health through public health systems development
  6. Shaping and accelerating information sharing through information exchange development

Informing policy and practice through health IT research

Expert analysis guides important policy decisions. At Altarum, we excel at such analysis, helping policymakers evaluate the implications of health care programs and policy options. While health IT is recognized as an enabler of change in the way medical care is delivered and paid for, there is a growing need for clear evidence linking specific tools/implementations and care models to outcomes. We recognize the complexity of factors that affect policy choices and dictate their impacts. We conduct policy analysis from a systems perspective, taking into account multiple influences, considerations, trade-offs and competing goals.

We work with the best and brightest minds of the nation’s top health IT researchers. From research and project collaborations to our use of expert panels, Altarum not only brings a depth of health IT expertise to our research but also a candid objectivity based in understanding the practical realities of real-world health care delivery. Our team is well-versed in qualitative research methods and our experience of working directly with thousands of health care providers adds to the richness of our research insights.

From highlighting the importance of health IT usability to evaluating new models of provider-delivered care management, our research is shaping policy and the practice of medicine today and in the future. For more information, please click here.

Driving transformative change

Our staff members have a passion for what is possible. From building the nation’s first immunization registry that includes care delivered in both public and private settings to our recent health care innovation award from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, we pride ourselves as agents of change.

Envisioning what’s possible starts with a robust understanding of the structures, processes and outcomes of existing systems of care. Innovative ideas arise from asking provocative and challenging questions about why things are the way they are and what would happen if they were different. The challenge is then to get others to embrace these novel ideas and work toward a shared vision of the future. Our team is inspired to make a difference in the world. We advance understanding and are able to execute effective strategies to overcome barriers to change. In partnership with our clients and funders, our team envisions new possibilities and builds the consensus necessary to achieve them, pulling together diverse stakeholders and leading organizations and communities to a brighter future. For more information, please click here.

Managing and evaluating programs

Our team is adept at managing health IT programs. Insightful program design, effective management practices, and the ability to appropriately assess performance are integral to the success of health IT programs. We help our clients design effective programs, management strategies, and evaluation methods to foster accountability. Our skilled management, workflow and health IT experts employ rigorous methods of quantitative and qualitative analysis to inform design and decision making during execution. By combining critical analytic skills with hands-on management experience, we offer our clients the most helpful guidance and tools for success.

From state Medicaid offices to the Department of Defense, our staff help bring clarity to relevant issues, seek the input of experts both within and outside of Altarum, uncover barriers to efficient operations, implement improvement strategies, and put in place the measurement and communication systems needed for success. Our team’s approach to the management of complex technology programs is based upon the flexibility and agility needed to address evolving environments and program requirements, as well as technological advances. For more information, please click here.

Fostering efficient and effective practice

Health care quality is a function of evidence and policy, accelerated by technical assistance. At Altarum, we understand that good policy based in solid evidence isn’t enough. The thousands of dedicated men and women working throughout our health system need support as they adopt new strategies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the practice of medicine. Our staff members provide direct technical assistance to health care providers, helping them meet new regulations, optimize workflows, meaningfully use new technologies, and better manage patient populations. Through technical assistance, Altarum helps accelerate the adoption of best practices and advance our national objectives: improving patient experience, improving the health of populations and reducing the cost of health care.

As one of the nation’s largest and most successful health IT regional extension centers (RECs), Altarum also knows first-hand how difficult it is to effect change “on the ground”, altering the practices of individual providers and modernizing community infrastructures. Those familiar with our REC work know our passion for health system modernization and our ability to understand and navigate the motivations of many stakeholders (including vendors, standards development organizations, federal/state agencies, integrated delivery networks, providers, patients, and others).  They also recognize our ability to develop and test innovative and effective materials for knowledge transfer and approaches to driving transformative health system change.  For more information, please click here.

Advancing public health

Altarum has a rich history of developing the public health infrastructure in Michigan. Over the past 15 years, from our early development work on the Michigan Care Improvement Registry in 1997 to today, Altarum has informed technology policy, modernized public health systems, improved information flows to state systems, and fostered quality and safety gains for patients in the state.

From enhancing the effectiveness of population health improvement efforts to continually improving the state’s surveillance capabilities, our team is proud of our many accomplishments and the impact we’ve had on public health in Michigan. For more information, please click here.

Shaping and accelerating information sharing

On the horizon, we see significant acceleration and innovation in models of care that require improved information flows and more effectively leverage new sources of information. As the pace of change quickens, the emphasis is moving away from how to build required infrastructures and incentivize health IT adoption, and toward ways to minimize the risks of and fully realize the benefits from the emerging reality of ubiquitous health information.

Since early 2005, Altarum has been involved in the planning, design, development and evaluation of a broad array of health information exchange initiatives across the country. From navigating competitive tendencies among health care stakeholders to managing interface engines and developing authentication protocols and messaging routes, Altarum is shaping and accelerating information flows and advancing connected health. For more information, please click here.