Next Monday, December 7, Caravan Health CEO and President, Tim Gronniger, will kick off the fifth annual Accountable Care Symposium which is being held virtually this year. As we look forward to the symposium, we noticed the topic of information technology as a theme throughout. To learn more about what we can expect, we sat down with Karin Abraham, Caravan’s Vice President of Information Technology. With more than 14 years of experience in data analytics and a focus on health care IT, Karin offers insight into this year’s symposium. 


In anticipation of this year’s Virtual Accountable Care Symposium, we see that Lynn Barr, Caravan Health Founder & Executive Chair, is scheduled to present on the subject of innovative technology during the opening General Session. Is this indicative of the importance of technology as we look toward 2021? 

Yes!  We are excited to introduce technology that will help Caravan Health participants. Caravan has been working hard the last few years to create and acquire multiple software products that meet our client's needs to drive change and succeed in value-based payment models across multiple entities and different EMRs. You’ll learn more about this from Lynn. 


Technology plays a significant role in our daily lives and it sounds as though technology has now moved into the realm of health care. Is this the future of health care? 

Innovation in health care technology is a challenge. Early in my career, I used to compare health care technology to banking technology and wondered why health care lagged so far behind. I quickly realized how much more complicated it is. Although we have made astonishing strides over the years, only in health care is the fax machine still alive and well! I believe that technology is the only way forward in health care. We are only scratching the surface of artificial intelligence (AI). I believe that AI has the potential to redesign the future of health care. 


It seems providers and health care professionals are required to use technology more and more. Would you agree that today the quality of patient care is tied to high-quality technology? 

This is a hard question to answer. Yes and no. I think at the point of care, technology can both help and hinder the quality of patient care depending on the technology being used, what it is being used for, how well the technology was implemented, and how well the staff were trained. I believe if you are using the right technology with workflows that are simple to follow, then technology can lead to high quality of care. Outside of the point-of-care, technology can most certainly assist in overall patient health for preventive and post-acute care. When technology can help provide insight to the data that drives meaningful change, then I believe technology can contribute to high quality care. There needs to be a balance between technology and people to achieve high quality care. 


With the advancements of technology to improve patient care, does this mean the patient has an increasing role to play as well?  

Patients have always had a role in improving their care. I think there is great potential for patients utilizing technology to help take further strides in improving their care. It is not for everyone, but for those who have the capacity to utilize the technology, there is great potential.  


What about patients who aren’t familiar with technology or don’t particularly enjoy using it? Will these technology advancements be user-friendly?  

My colleague Luke Feaster, Senior Product Manager at Caravan Health, has many years of experience with patient engagement technology. Luke and I have discussed this, and he provided this response: “Designing software is both an art and science. Extensive user research has gone into Caravan’s software to ensure we’re providing our users with the tools they need to succeed, while generating a positive emotional response in doing so. We work with patients and providers to ensure the messages we send, and the overall experience is appropriate for the people using the software. Our goal is to meet patients where they are and integrate with their daily lives, so we enable them to download an Android or iOS mobile application or use the software from their computer while at home.” 


We’re hearing more and more about remote patient monitoring and improving outcomes with more patient engagement. How confident can we be in patient-reported data?  

According to Luke Feaster: Evidence has shown that data collected contemporaneously is more accurate than data recalled in hindsight in the waiting room. Patient reported data, whether it is patients logging their blood pressure or sending a message, gives clinicians real-time information that they wouldn’t normally have about what’s going on with patients when they’re at home and between visits. This enables clinicians to identify potential concerns early on before they become serious and patients end up in the hospital. 


As we preview the agenda for this year’s symposium, there is an entire afternoon dedicated to redesigned software and new resources. What can we anticipate taking away from those sessions?  

On Thursday, Dec. 10, there is a wide variety of topics ranging from Caravan Health technology to understanding ACO attribution and how it applies to analytics. The main takeaway is to have a sneak preview of the technology we can expect by participating in a Caravan Health ACO in 2021. Caravan Health technology brings together all of the tools and support you need in one enterprise and mobile application software package. This new software is designed to support your work, whether it is caring for patients, tracking your progress, submitting data or improving your performance. 


Caravan Health’s fifth annual Accountable Health Care Symposium will take place virtually, from December 7-10. The symposium is open to all Caravan clients and participating ACOs as well as health care professionals and those interested in population health and value-based care. Register here to attend. Click the link to preview the agenda for a detailed description and theme of each day. 

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