“EP154: The What and How of Evidence Based Medicine, with Alex Akers, VP of HealthCatalyst”
by Stacey Richter

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EBM sounds great and all in theory. And it often is great – Except when it’s not. Or when you can’t figure out what the evidence actually is or proves or how to make it actionable. I speak with Alex Akers today about the complexities of compiling believable data, prioritizing outcomes and creating a system that can self-correct if the evidence changes. Alex is a VP over at HealthCatalyst. He’s also one of our assistant producers here on the podcast. 

Alex Akers is Vice President for Business Development with HealthCatalyst, a Utah-based, next-generation data, analytics, and decision-support company, committed to being a catalyst for massive, sustained improvements in healthcare outcomes. He has been with HealthCatalyst since 2015, primarily focusing on clients in the southeast.

Alex began his career in healthcare consulting, working for KPMG and Accenture in their healthcare strategy practices, and then shifting to revenue cycle reengineering with Stockamp & Associates, where he was a Senior Manager. His passion for technology in healthcare really took off after he joined Microsoft, and was responsible for healthcare strategy in their payer segment, working on projects such as improving care giver collaboration with next generation technology, how to gamify healthcare with Xbox Kinect and consumer engagement. He spent time working with the Microsoft-GE joint venture Caradigm, and worked in sales for their analytics platform. After a stint with a San Francisco company called Grand Rounds, Alex landed at HealthCatalyst, and continues to follow his passion for bringing analytics, evidence, and better care to the US healthcare system.

Alex holds a Masters in Business Administration and a Masters in Public Health (Health Policy) from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and attended Auburn University for his undergraduate degree. He lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife Lauren.

00:00 Evidence-Based Medicine vs. Implementation.
02:20 Only about 49% of Clinicians practice evidence-based medicine.
02:50 The Proximity Effect.
03:20 “How do you, in a Health System, help your physicians scale evidence?”
07:00 The challenges of getting Clinician consensus.
08:45 “What outcome are you striving for?”
10:00 Coaching Patients, and why Physicians don’t do more of it.
11:40 Why Clinicians need to drive implementation.
12:35 “Where are the places of variability?”
13:00 How a Health System can implement more evidence-based medicine.
16:00 EP136 David Westfall Bates
18:20 The need and access to ongoing health data.
18:40 Scaling up evidence-based healthcare.
22:00 Seeing at scale and adjusting in real-time.
25:20 The challenges preventing doctors from having real-time access to patient data.
26:25 Data-set distrust among physicians.
29:00 The focus on value driving this change.
29:45 You can learn more at HealthCatalyst.com.

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