Quest for Health Information Exchange Sustainability to Innovative Growth Strategies
by Ed Daniels and Michael Solomon, Ph.D., senior consultants, Point-of-Care Partners
A regional nonprofit organization is successfully using health information exchange (HIE) technology as a key component of innovative care management to improve the quality of care for patients with chronic conditions. Management and the executive board share a vision of expanding the organization’s portfolio of HIE-enabled care management and patient engagement services to a broader patient population and to underserved geographic areas. Critical strategic and investment decisions are needed to pursue this vision and to develop a sustainable enterprise that is no longer reliant on grant funding. A comprehensive business plan detailing the organization’s market needs and resources, balanced with the best practices of successful HIE enterprises, is required to inform these decisions.
A team of senior-level Point-of-Care Partners consultants with extensive experience in HIE and quality improvement facilitated a rigorous, rapid-cycle and data-intensive business planning process, working closely with the organization’s management team. Through a series of workshops spanning 90 days, the management team’s intimate knowledge of its market, stakeholders and capabilities paired with Point-of-Care Partner’s unique perspective of what’s worked in successful HIEs and quality improvement organizations (QIOs) across the U.S. resulted in a three-year business plan. The plan includes:
1. Detailed, incremental market and product development strategies, plans and success measures
2. Creative packaging, positioning and pricing for an enhanced portfolio of HIE-enabled quality improvement services that will differentiate the organization in its state
3. Compelling, measurable value propositions for each service, resource requirements
4. A pro-forma with supporting assumptions
The plan also defines strategies for aligning the organization’s services with the priorities of the state’s designated entity for HIE.
The business plan showed that the organization will become sustainable beyond the current grant funding period by executing on “three horizons of growth.” The initial focus will be on strengthening the organization’s business foundation by maximizing adoption of the HIE’s core services in its core market, and eventually expanding the organization’s portfolio of services and its market reach. The most valuable outcome of this project was how the process served as a catalyst and expedited the time it took for the organization’s leadership to develop growth strategies that will leverage its unique capabilities and differentiate the HIE-enabled care management and patient engagement services from other HIEs and QIOs in the state. The plan for growth and sustainability is helping the management team attract more participants, raise capital from stakeholders and pursue grant funding opportunities that it is now well-positioned to win.