Real-World Evidence: An Imperative for Care Delivery Innovation

Updated on February 3, 2018

Diane FrancisBy Diane M. Francis, Senior Director, Field Health Economics & Market Access, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies

One of the biggest challenges facing health systems and clinicians today is innovating care delivery so that it enhances the patient experience in a meaningful way. Evidence from real-world practice, including data from electronic medical health records, insurance claims data, patient-reported outcomes and health registries is a key part of this innovation. Combined with traditional data sources like randomized clinically controlled trials, real-world evidence is helping clinicians in the delivery of tailored healthcare decisions that meet the individual needs of patients, and for health system administrators to make strategic business decisions that help accelerate the shift to value-based care.

Evidence from a controlled clinical trial provides essential insights, however it is only part of the picture – a procedure or treatment can be proven to be effective in a controlled environment but bringing real-world evidence into the picture helps bridge the gap between expected performance and outcomes, and what actually happens once a treatment is broadly used.

The good news is that health systems can now tap into a wealth of data and new technologies that are making it easier for them to identify actionable insights. The business-case for investing in the collection and analysis of real-world evidence goes further than just uncovering unexpected insights to improve the quality and delivery of care. It also has the potential to use these insights to help the health system optimize the overall costs associated with care delivery, and move from a volume-based model to a value-based, outcomes-driven approach.

Integrating and/or linking evidence from real day-to-day sources and experiences can better enable health systems to see the full picture and gain powerful, critical insights into changes that can be implemented. Unfortunately, many health systems find themselves resource constrained and with the amount of data and data sources at their disposal, it is not uncommon for teams to suffer from data fatigue. It’s important to evaluate a health system’s needs and goals and consider whether a partner can enhance those. Partnerships can make the process of collecting, integrating, and analyzing data more efficient and may also help with the implementation of changes.

For example, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies (JJMDC) and a health system partner created efficiencies in the operating room by studying available data and conducting onsite assessments to improve surgical set-up time and other endpoints for total knee and hip procedures. A costly aspect of maintaining the OR is ensuring the right procedural instruments matching a patient’s needs are available, and through the collaboration, JJMDC provided information to the health system that eventually led to a 57% reduction in clinical trays being used in ORs. This is just one example of how health systems can use data analytics and collaboration to realize improvements.

Real-world evidence isn’t an optional piece of the puzzle – it’s an essential part of our healthcare innovation, providing patients with tailored treatment built on outcome-focused insights. To successfully make the shift to value-based care and meet the goals set out by the triple aim goals, health systems need to expand their ability to gather and integrate real-world evidence across multiple platforms and sites of care. As data sets grow and technology enables more advanced analytics, the time is now for health systems to explore new models of collaboration.

Diane M. Francis currently serves as the Senior Director of Field Health Economics and Market Access at Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies. In her role, she leads a team responsible for the creation and delivery of innovative health economic and market access solutions that align to the emerging value-based payment and delivery models in the United States. She has a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Cornell University. Diane joined Johnson & Johnson in 2000 and has more than 25 years of diverse experience in medical device reimbursement, community development and managed care.

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.