Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP
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Editor’s Note: Data exchange is crucial to coordinating care
and services for older Californians, particularly those who have an
array of health and social needs and require multidisciplinary
teams to manage care and transitions between settings. Too often,
however, health care and social services are siloed, which creates
barriers that limit data sharing needed to improve care and
outcomes.1 In a new report for the Archstone Foundation,
Manatt Health provides an overview of data exchange in California
as it relates to older adults, including a strategic landscape,
opportunities assessment, funding priorities and key areas where
investment could have maximum impact. An executive summary is
below. Click here to download a free copy of the full
report—and here to view our free webinar based on the
report, including important lessons for other states seeking to
advance data exchange and enhance team-based care for older
As health and human services are increasingly delivered and
supported by digital technologies, it is essential that older
adults and caregivers have access to and the capability to use
digital and broadband-enabled technologies. Older adults, however,
still face a digital divide when it comes to the adoption and use
of smartphones and the Internet, which remain lower for older
adults than for younger populations.
Similarly, it is important for the health and human services
providers who care for older adults to have the health information
technology (HIT) and data exchange capabilities to seamlessly use
and exchange data with other settings and care team members. While
most acute care hospitals and physician organizations have
benefited from funding programs that have enabled adoption of HIT
and data exchange capabilities over the past decade, many providers
who predominantly care for older adults were not eligible for those
funding programs, and their capabilities have lagged.
It is important to consider a core set of funding opportunities
and principles in order to accurately assess the efficacy of
interventions and deploy resources to advance technology and data
exchange that enable better team-based care for older adults. These
core opportunities and principles, summarized in the table below,
are organized into three domains: Collaboration and Partnerships,
Research and Evaluation, and Pilot Programs.
In pursuing these and other initiatives to improve team-based
care for older adults, there are several potential challenges to
keep in mind:
- Change Management. Introducing new
technologies or care models can be disruptive to existing
workflows, resulting in adoption resistance from care team
- Workforce.Poor data and technology illiteracy
among health care workers are common barriers to the digital
transformation of health care.2
- Broadband Adoption. Access to high-speed
Internet is not yet ubiquitous, particularly among older adults,
rural settings and organizations that care for older adults.3,
- Unproven Initiatives, Services and
Technologies. There is a constant stream of exciting new
technology and data exchange solutions being introduced in the
market, but many of them are largely untested. Many will fail to
gain traction or will be challenging to sustain and scale.
- Remote Patient Monitoring Technologies.
Without basic data exchange infrastructure in place, it is
exceedingly difficult and labor-intensive to systematically
incorporate data generated by remote patient monitoring
technologies into workflows.
- Cost, Complexity and Business Case for Interoperable
Data Exchange. The cost and complexity of implementing the
technologies, tools and systems needed for interoperable data
exchange have meant that the promise of better data exchange alone
is not always a compelling enough business rationale to drive
These challenges can be addressed through careful deliberation
of potential pitfalls at the outset of any initiative. Indeed, the
landscape of data exchange presents significant opportunities to
deploy investments that advance cross-sector, team-based care for
1 “Health information technology to improve care for
people with multiple chronic conditions,” Health Services
Research. Aug. 2021. Available at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1475-6773.13860.
2 “A Digitally Competent Health Workforce: Scoping
Review of Educational Frameworks,” Journal of Medical Internet
Research. Nov. 2020. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7677019/.
3 “Internet Adoption and the ‘Digital
Divide’ in California,” California Emerging Technology
Fund. 2021. Available at https://www.cetfund.org/action-and-results/statewide-surveys/2021-2/.
4 “Tips for Senior Care Organizations on Upgrading
Their Network Infrastructure,” Health Tech Magazine. Jul.
2022. Available at https://healthtechmagazine.net/article/2022/07/tips-senior-care-organizations-upgrading-their-network-infrastructure.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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