Health systems and physician practices have access to a host of digital tools that can enhance patient care. However, identifying the health information technology (IT) that best fits their needs can be a long and arduous process. A new digital platform helps streamline complex purchasing decisions across the health care industry.
The AMA recently began a collaboration with Lucro, a health care technology company in Nashville, to improve physician engagement in purchasing decisions. Lucro’s digital platform simplifies the buying process by connecting physicians and health systems with innovative technology vendors. The collaboration comes in the wake of the release of the AMA Physician Innovation Network (PIN), an online community that connects and matches physicians with digital health companies and entrepreneurs.
“Physicians best understand the specific clinical and operational needs that can improve the delivery of high-quality care across the health care industry,” AMA CEO James L. Madara, MD, said in a statement. “This relationship will both advance the voice of the physician in the vendor selection process and bring a valuable resource to smaller practices that can benefit from the insights and experiences of larger organizations.”
“The collaboration with the AMA is specifically designed to give physicians more of a voice in the purchasing decisions,” Lucro Founder and CEO Bruce Brandes told AMA Wire®. “Whether that is from an EMR [electronic medical record] to something as simple as a virtual scribe—whatever that entity is purchasing—they can create a project in Lucro, they can find additional vendors that they didn’t know existed, they can collaborate within the platform, and really give physicians the visibility and voice in terms of what is being purchased.”
Save time, increase visibility
Through Lucro, health systems and physician practices can create a board—similar to Pinterest—to display their problem or technology need. This will be the organization’s project. When a vendor signs into the platform, they will see an inventory of all available projects. From there they can sort and filter projects to match their solution.
Physicians and health systems can join the Lucro platform for free to find a technology solution that best solves their problem.
When physicians want to consider a solution, they will pin—or save—it to their board. They can then decline any solutions that don’t meet their needs. And if any questions arise with the platform, review, score and compare vendor answers and ultimately calculate results.
“Instead of doing a 40-page long RFP [request for proposal], they are doing shorter, qualifying questions up front so that they are only doing the long, intensive process with a handful of vendors instead of 12 or 15,” Brandes said. “It’s designed to save time and money on both sides.”
Organizations that collectively operate 20 percent of the hospital market in the U.S. are now on the Lucro platform, which Brandes said includes “major health systems all the way down to local physician practices and even some international practices too.”
There are about 1,500 vendors on the platform. This number continues to grow as physicians input vendors they want to look at, even if they are not yet part of the platform.
“If they want to consider a specific vendor, all they have to do is add their URL and it will pull the information off their website to create a solution within Lucro to use the platform to collaborate,” he said.
Physicians and health systems can save time using the platform because all information is available in one place, minimizing the fragemented use of emails, spreadsheets and unnecessary meetings. Instead, Lucro populates the data for them. Organizations can also invite contributors to their project to increase stakeholder visibility—internal or external. This allows for collaboration across different practices, as well as within the same organization.
“It can collaborate across your organization, so that you aren’t doing double work if someone else is working on the project,” said Brandes. “We try to drive internal alignment in that way.”
In the newest release available on Lucro’s platform, users can score all solutions offered. Physicians and health systems can score the solution on a scale of one to five stars. The tool will provide results to say who the top contender is, or even ones missing one or two criteria.
To ensure new digital health solutions facilitate effective care and relationships between patients and physicians, the AMA brings the physician voice to innovators and entrepreneurs. By recognizing the key challenges physicians face when implementing health IT and the increase of direct-to-consumer digital health apps, the AMA aims to help physicians navigate and maximize technology for improved patient care and professional satisfaction.
The AMA is focused on influencing health IT with the goal of enhancing patient-centered care, improving health outcomes and accelerating progress in health care.