The American Medical Association (AMA) and Manatt Health has published a Blueprint for Optimizing Digitally Enabled Care, which outlines six pillars that can aid in the optimization of digital health practices, with the aim of addressing negative outcomes associated with virtual healthcare. The AMA claims that there is great potential for digitally enabled care. According to the organization, there are several factors that influence how digitally enabled care develops and how it may be utilized to increase access and care quality, including investments, technology adoption, and patient demands.
“When equitably designed and thoughtfully integrated, digital health tools can effectively augment and enhance care,” said AMA President Jack Resneck Jr. M.D. “Yet often, digital health products exist in silos and risk additional fragmentation, higher costs, and diminished care experiences. Optimizing the full potential of digitally enabled care requires a collaborative effort and the blueprint offered by the AMA outlines opportunities for physicians and other stakeholders to move in partnership toward improving the health of the nation.”
The blueprint was created by AMA and Manatt Health with input from several experts who represent a variety of stakeholders in order to produce the best possible digitally enabled care. The pillars are:
- Building care models with patients and clinicians in mind.
- Designing with a health equity lens.
- Establishing care based on the relationship between patients and providers.
- Enhancing payment channels to incentivize high-value care.
- Removing fragmentation through technology.
- Promptly scaling evidence-based models.
According to the report, using technology to decrease fragmentation can result in enhanced cooperation, scaling up evidence-based models quickly can result in greater accuracy when determining its efficacy, and improving payment models can encourage the creation of financially stable innovations over the long term.
Following the establishment of the six foundational pillars, the AMA outlined healthcare stakeholders opportunities. The blueprint suggests that physicians implement digital workflow tools and pay more attention to technology design and implementation in order to improve treatment efficiency. Additionally, the blueprint urges employers to develop on-site virtual care settings, encourage collaboration with employees’ PCPs, and mandate information sharing with PCPs. By enhancing interoperability, increasing telehealth flexibility, and paying closer attention to research funding, policymakers can also contribute to the advancement of digital health processes.