ACOs struggle with advanced IT, interoperability, survey shows

Many accountable care organizations are struggling with advanced IT functions and interoperability, a survey of 62 ACOs conducted in July and August 2014 by Premier and the eHealth Initiative shows.

“Most ACOs are still at the stage of basic care-coordination capabilities,” said Bryan Bowles, Premier's vice president of population health solution management, Wednesday on a call discussing the survey. “The challenges of blending disparate data have hindered uptake of more advanced functions.”

For example, while 86% of respondents have an EHR system and 74% have a disease registry, other important IT capabilities lag. Only 28% of respondents can build a master patient index, for example, while 58% have a clinical-decision support system.

ACOs “can't succeed if they can't identify patients in their population,” Bowles said.

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