One of the more important learnings taking place now in patient care organizations in the U.S. seems to be this: that disease registries, as important as they are in themselves, are really most impactful when they are designed as one element in a broader care management/population health management strategy.
It’s important for the leaders of hospitals, medical groups, and integrated health systems to create an overall population health management and care management strategy, deciding what their primary goals will be in that broad area. Among the possible goals could be reducing inpatient readmissions; improving the health of specific sectors of the overall patient population; focusing on key chronic disease areas; linking care management to value-based payment or accountable care work; etc.
Then, one can create disease registries for specific diseases, such as congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary artery disease, diabetes, asthma, etc. Most of the true pioneer organizations in the U.S. in this area are also building comprehensive care management architectures around these diseases, so that the data sets created are turned into actionable care management structures. Together, the data/information and the care management work can be powerful and impactful.
But above all, developing programs linked to the broad, overall strategies and goals of a patient care organization, seems to be the best possible approach, as evidenced by the success in this area so far by pioneering organizations in the U.S.