The healthcare industry is undergoing a transition from institutional-driven healthcare (fee for service) to outcome-based healthcare (pay for performance). It rewards care providers for raising care standards and for demonstrating evidence-based service goals. The model typically evaluates provider performance by examining key activities that lead to improved patient outcomes and patient satisfaction.
The Patient / Individual centered care is expected to consider patient’s desires, expectations, values, family and social circumstances, beliefs, lifestyles and future ambitions. Integrating this into the patient care provides a more collaborative, respectful, personalized and holistic approach to medical practice across the ecosystem.
There are gaps in traditional medical practice that are driving these changes: Health decisions are generally taken by health professionals, while patients are mostly passive participants as they are not actively involved in the decision-making[i]; the cost of treatment has been going up without an equivalent improvement in value delivered; patients are being subject to unnecessary tests and treatments; and dangerously enough, patients sometimes receive incorrect treatment.
Technology can help overcome many of these imperfections. As an enabler, it can motivate and support more optimal practices. Care givers can leverage a vast amount of digital data from numerous connected sources (devices, trials, research, best practices, training, patient data) and strengthen this by tapping into cross-functional skills to take day-to-day decisions. This brings about a significant change by turning point-of-care into evidence-based practice.
All the players in the healthcare ecosystem, including medical device OEMs, pharma companies and insurers, who do not become patient centric will remain vulnerable to compliance risk, loss of revenue through lowered reimbursements from insurers, brand erosion and patient attrition.
The nuts and bolts of becoming patient centric
What will it take to deliver patient centric care? There are three critical vectors that need to be addressed (see illustration Moving closer to patient centricity for details).
Figure 1: Moving closer to patie
Health management: This would involve defining and adopting an appropriate Clinical pathway to support care delivery. Health insurance companies have reported that more than 80% of healthcare costs are a result of managing chronic conditions and serious illness. Appropriate management can help bring down this cost.
Measuring patient centricity: Generally, clinical outcomes gets reported. However, patient centricity requires measurement and reporting many non-clinical parameters and is generally done through Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROM).
Using technology to deliver patient centric care
Technology today is making patient centric care programs possible by extending the reach of care organizations to larger society. It is multiplying the effectiveness of a limited number of skilled professionals, driving affordability and improving decision-support through evidence-based practices (see table: Key Technology Requirements for Patient Centricity for details on patient / care giver expectations and the supporting technologies).
Figure 1: Perspective on the Technology Stackup
Patient Dairy, Patient Registry, Patient Outreach solution, Patient engagement, Tele-Health, Self-management, eLearning Solution, Advocacy application – Virtual Coach, Decision support and analytics and Care Co-ordination are some of the focus areas that is being targeted using above technology stack.
Shift – Into the future
The challenges to becoming patient centric exist but are not insurmountable. Driving change in mindset, alignment of priorities and close collaboration between different stakeholders of the healthcare ecosystem are essential towards defining and adopting below indicated strategies:
These shifts and models are inevitable as they benefit all stakeholders. Early adopters of C2SAM will demonstrate a differentiator, enable their users perform their activities efficiently towards delivering Person centered care and be compliant to regulatory norms. These are the organizations that will expand their markets and establish their dominance.