The patient-centric era of healthcare is not only possible – it’s happening now, as the landscape shifts towards a consumer-driven model of care delivery. Recent examples are abound.
For instance, Novant Health, a leading healthcare provider with 15 hospitals and more than 350 physician practices, started an electronic medical records project called Dimensions in July 2011. Later in May 2013, Novant began providing email visits and video visits with patients via MyChart, an electronic health records portal for nonemergency health issues.(1) Patients can interface with their physicians through computers and mobile devices. This program substantially increased the efficiency and quality of healthcare. Patients without emergency situations no longer needed to wait for appointments and pay high bills for treatments and medications. The integration of digital technologies is a breakthrough that enhances patients’ experiences.
In another case, Wake Forest Baptist also started to offer video visits in May for its 25,000 employees and their families. Dr. Richard W. Lord, Wake Forest Baptist’s chairman of Family and Community Medicine, states, “There are a limit number of things that are allowed to be done through some of these platforms for video visits. So we wanted to go ahead and get that out and get it started so we could understand the demand for these types of video visits”(2). These e-visits are redefining the patient-provider interface by reducing overall costs that are passed on to patients, and thus maximizing overall healthcare value for patients.
Additionally, the pharmaceutical industry is also starting to shift its marketing strategy from products to patients. Today’s increasingly well-informed patients are more involved in the processes of selecting and switching therapies. This paradigm shift drives industry to increasingly focus on patients. Marketers have already learned that it is essential to educate, communicate, and engage patients throughout their experiences with a disease. (3) They not only need to provide the highest quality of healthcare products for patients, but they also must focus on enhancing patients’ experience with their products throughout the entire therapeutic process.
To make medical research more patient-centric, top journals such as British Medical Journal, Research Engagement and Involvement, and Journal of Participatory Medicine recently introduced patient reviewers. This trend gives patients a platform and opportunity to speak about their experiences. Patient involvement in all aspects of healthcare is to be welcomed, and patient perspective can play a much larger role in the development of future healthcare product and services.(4)
These are just a few of the many examples of the trend toward focusing on patient experiences and maximizing healthcare value for patients. CHI’s Healthcare Executive Roundtable will further discuss what patient-centric healthcare value means in the 21st century. This consumer-focused Roundtable Discussion brings the best and brightest healthcare leaders from around the globe together to share their ideas and expertise on the intersection of healthcare value and patient-centricity. Please visit chisite.org/education/healthcare-executive-roundtable for more information.