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Mauricio Peralta

Healthcare Value and Patient Engagement

By | Patient Engagement, Patient-Driven Healthcare, Uncategorized | No Comments

As of 2015, healthcare spending in the U.S. reached approximately $3.2 trillion dollars, or $10,000 dollars per person. (1.) Despite high amounts of spending, Americans have seen a decline in life expectancy by one-tenth of a year.  (2.) According to a publication in 2013 by The Common Wealth Fund, Americans had fewer physician visits with 4 per year compared to 6.5 visits for other countries in The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (3.) With the rising cost and poor quality of healthcare, it is critical to analyze the intersection between healthcare value and patient engagement. (4.)

How do we define “value” in health care? The definition for this term can range from improved patient outcomes to coordination of care to patient-centeredness. (5.) However, value-based care is generally defined as safe, appropriate, and effective care at a reasonable cost. It is very important to carefully define value as we move towards value-based care. This allows customers to fully understand the type of care they are receiving. Furthermore, value-based care has emerged as a solution to address rising health care costs. This is a change from the traditional fee-for-service approach where doctors and hospitals are paid for based on the number of health care services they deliver. (6.)

What this entails for hospitals and physicians is more accountability on their part for the well-being of their patients. For example, according to the Harvard Business Review, value-based care will be about costs and patient outcomes like quicker recoveries, fewer readmissions, lower infection rates, and fewer medical errors. (7.) In addition, as we move towards this newer model, we also see an abundance of data that can be tabulated and analyzed to ensure better health outcomes for patients. (8.) If value-based care is to succeed, the need for better patient engagement becomes a key component to that success.

Patient engagement is a set of strategies that are created to keep patients connected and engaged in their own care. Today, this is facilitated through the use of healthcare technology. For example, patients can use patient portals to directly message their provider regarding any questions they have regarding their health. (9.) In addition, people have been using mobile applications on their smartphones to keep track of their health. Ultimately, they can decide whether it is appropriate to visit a doctor based on the information they have in their pocket. (10.) This trend also focuses on preventive measures since this allows patients and providers to be in direct contact.

What patient engagement ultimately allows is for patients to take charge of their health through the use of innovative methods that have become available through technology. It allows patients to avoid spending a lot of money on doctor visits that only require simple checkups. It plays a critical role in lowering the cost of healthcare for patients and ensures better quality of care. (11.) Healthcare value and patient engagement now go hand in hand because both are innovative ideas that are meant to disrupt an industry where traditional thinking triumphs. In today’s society, the need for change is only becoming inevitable.

As a new administration takes charge, the future of our healthcare system has never been so unclear. It will be interesting to see if this value-based approach can reach new heights under the new administration. As leaders in this sector await change, one can only hope that it is the change that we have long desired. It is important for healthcare leaders to advocate for an inclusive and efficient healthcare system. In the end, if we are to succeed, collaboration on both ends of the spectrum is required.  

 

Works Cited

1.) National Health Expenditures 2015 Highlights. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. https://www.cms.gov/research-statistics-data-and-systems/statistics-trends-and-reports/nationalhealthexpenddata/downloads/highlights.pdf. Accessed January 25, 2017.

2.) Bernstein L. U.S. Life expectancy declines for the first time since 1993. Washington Post. December 8, 2016. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/us-life-expectancy-declines-for-the-first-time-since-1993/2016/12/07/7dcdc7b4-bc93-11e6-91ee-1adddfe36cbe_story.html. Accessed January 25, 2017.

3.) Squires D. U.S. Health care from a global perspective. The Common Wealth Fund. http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2015/oct/us-health-care-from-a-global-perspective. Accessed January 25, 2017.

4.) Claxton G. Measuring the quality of healthcare in the U.S. Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker. http://www.healthsystemtracker.org/insight/measuring-the-quality-of-healthcare-in-the-u-s/. Accessed January 25, 2017.

5.) Blumenthal D. Getting real about health care value. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2013/09/getting-real-about-health-care-value. Accessed January 25, 2017.

6.) Belliveau J. What is value-based care, what it means for providers? Rev Cycle Intelligince. http://revcycleintelligence.com/features/what-is-value-based-care-what-it-means-for-providers. Accessed January 25, 2017.

7.) Cosgrove T. Value-based health care is inevitable and that’s good. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2013/09/value-based-health-care-is-inevitable-and-thats-good. Accessed January 25, 2017.

8.) Porter M. The strategy that will fix health care. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2013/10/the-strategy-that-will-fix-health-care. Accessed January 25, 2017.

9.) Heath S. How do patient engagement strategies cut healthcare costs? Patient EngagementHIT. http://patientengagementhit.com/news/how-do-patient-engagement-strategies-cut-healthcare-costs. Accessed January 25, 2017.

10.) Key facts about the uninsured population. http://kff.org/uninsured/fact-sheet/key-facts-about-the-uninsured-population/. Accessed January 25, 2017.

11.) Barnett J. United States Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/library/publications/2016/demo/p60-257.html. Accessed January 25, 2017.

 

What Healthcare Diversity Looks Like in The 21st century

By | Clinical Trials, Diversity & Inclusion, Global Healthcare Trends, Patients | No Comments

Diversity is a key word in the healthcare system. It can be defined as the blending of different backgrounds, with representation across gender, race/ethnicity, generation, and sexual orientation. Diversity is undeniably one of the most important topics in today’s society. In fact, according to an article published in Becker’s Hospital Review, millennials are the most diverse generation in the U.S. Population [1]. This change has brought the demand for a better quality of life across every social aspect, such as healthcare[2].

Despite the focus on relatively high economic factors in our healthcare system, many issues on the social spectrum remain unaddressed. One of the issues that our healthcare system faces today is the lack of representation for our ever-growing, diverse, population. As stated in an article published in Modern Healthcare, the lack of true diversity among leaders in this industry has stayed consistent[3]. How consistent? Well, according to Kevin E. Lofton, CEO of Englewood, Colorado-based Catholic Health Initiatives, this has been an issue since he started his career back in 1978. The healthcare industry has done a poor job of adjusting to the rapid demographic changes in recent years.

According to a survey conducted in 2013 by the American Hospital Association’s Institute for Diversity, minority representation on healthcare boards across the nation stood at 14 percent [4]. Furthermore, the same survey reported that minorities represented 31 percent of patients nationally. This is an issue that needs to change in the next couple of years. In an article published by David Ferguson, he mentions that a lack of diverse leadership in the healthcare industry can present a cultural gulf that must be overcome if the industry plans on switching to patient-centered care[5]. Emphasizing the crucial importance of diversity is critical if we ever hope to have an adequate health care system that is inclusive and represents the diverse set of people living in this nation.

Change must start at the top of the executive pyramid. Why? Well, those at the top are the ones with the power to make decisions.  In addition, increasing the number of physicians of color can foster higher levels of patient satisfaction among underrepresented groups in the community[6]. Most importantly, it is key to let minority groups know that the resources are there for them to take initiative. This can only work if both healthcare providers and patients work together to bring much-needed change to a system as sophisticated as the healthcare industry.

We must look at different initiatives that in the long-term can foster a system where the gap between healthcare inequality is minimal or non-existent. These initiatives must produce a system that is not only inclusive but effective as well. Shedding light on this issue is a must among healthcare leaders since they become the voice of the underrepresented populations. In the end, it is important to push for change and create something meaningful in an industry where change is long overdue.

To further explore these diversity trends, CHI is organizing our 7th annual Diversity, Inclusion, & Life Sciences Symposium on 6/15/17 in Chicago. The Symposium is the leading annual, collaborative event for life sciences and healthcare executives, physicians, HR professionals, clinical trial professionals and patients, entrepreneurs, patient groups, researchers, academics, and diversity and inclusion advocates to discuss diversity and inclusion in healthcare. The symposium focuses on the latest trends, challenges, opportunities, and best practices for implementing strategies and tactics to make these industries more diverse and inclusive, as well as understand how to better serve diverse patient groups. Attendees will learn the newest insights and ideas, discuss practical solutions, and meet new industry and marketplace colleagues. See a video at http://www.snip.ly/fxln8. This year’s symposium will include topics such as the role of coaching and mentoring in executive success, diversity and inclusion in clinical trials and research, and expanding definitions of diversity. Please visit http://chisite.org/dilss/ for more info or to register. Register before 5/13 to receive early registration discount.

 

References

[1] Jayanthi A. The new look of diversity in healthcare: Where we are and where we’re headed. Becker’s Hospital Review. http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-management-administration/the-new-look-of-diversity-in-healthcare-where-we-are-and-where-we-re-headed.html. Accessed January 25, 2017.

 

[2] Dorning J. The U.S. Health Care System: An International Perspective. Department For Professional Employees. http://dpeaflcio.org/programs-publications/issue-fact-sheets/the-u-s-health-care-system-an-international-perspective/#_edn24. Accessed January 25, 2017.

 

[3] Lofton K. Need for more diversity in healthcare leadership represents a moral and business imperative. Modern Healthcare. http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20161119/MAGAZINE/311199945. Accessed January 25, 2017.

 

[4] Diversity and Disparities. Diversity Connection. http://www.diversityconnection.org/diversityconnection/leadership-conferences/diversity_disparities_Benchmark_study_hospitals_2013.pdf. Accessed January 25, 2017.

 

[5] Ferguson D. Diversity in healthcare leadership drives better patient outcomes and community connection. Fierce Healthcare. http://www.fiercehealthcare.com/healthcare/diversity-healthcare-leadership-drives-better-patient-outcomes-and-community-connection. Accessed January 25, 2017.

 

[6] King M. The importance of cultural diversity in healthcare | Brainwaves. The University of Vermont. https://learn.uvm.edu/blog-health/cultural-diversity-in-healthcare. Accessed January 25, 2017.

 


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