For all health care providers, it is clear what the goals are in value-based purchasing and its close cousin, patient-centered care, says Adele Allison, director of provider innovation strategies at DST Health Solutions in Birmingham, Ala.

Calling it “a three-legged stool,” she says the push from the federal government and health care marketplace is to change the episodic way health care is delivered.

“We treat the patient when they have a heart attack,” Allison says. Now, the system across the care continuum wants to focus on wellness and prevention and management of chronic disease. “Manage the diabetic, for example, so that they don’t even have the heart attack. It is better quality for the patient. And heart attacks are expensive,” she says.

The technology in the value over volume way of delivering care comes under the heading of tools for population health management. Within that design is the need for patient engagement, no matter the care setting. “When you think of the patient is on average awake 6,000 hours a year and on average will see a physician for one hour, then the patient is not engaged,” she says, cutting down on the ability for patients or their families to understand how the choices they make on medical care and their adherence to drug protocols impacts their wellness and their health.