By George Mathew, chief medical officer, North America, DXC Technology.
Consumer technology has given rise to 21st century digital citizens who are reinventing their lifestyles ? one smart device at a time. They are also reinventing healthcare.
The 21st century digital citizen monitors their daily calorie intake, sleep patterns and heart rate during exercise. They have used a DNA testing service to access their genetic information, and they know their risk level for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or cancer. They have become empowered consumers of healthcare.
Healthcare organizations are exploring ways to capture this new wave of patient-generated data, integrate it with other clinical and non-clinical data sources and gain insights into improving health management for individuals and populations. The key will be to create a digital foundation that can radically improve data flow and deliver contextual, actionable insights across the entire healthcare ecosystem.
21st Century Outcomes
Consumerization has made it possible to get a more complete picture of what patients need to better manage their health, and to provide care beyond the walls of a hospital or clinic. Insights can be gleaned from a variety of internet of things (IoT) devices ? from cameras linked to video analytics systems to assess people’s behaviors, to communication and conversational artificial intelligence (AI) devices that can interact with patients in their homes.
Consider what this means for patients who are managing a chronic condition such as diabetes or hypertension. Those individuals receive advice when they visit their doctor or nurse practitioner. But how can providers keep patient engagement going between those visits? Now, after garnering the appropriate approvals, providers can use patient-generated data and virtual health services to monitor patients and ensure they have the information needed for their care without requiring an office visit. Increased interactions between practitioners and patients helps to increase engagement, which is often difficult to achieve between visits. Better-engaged patients will positively impact patient satisfaction scores — a key consideration in the value-based care system.
Additionally, collecting more types of data enables organizations to better understand the dynamics of the entire population. Patients with similar profiles can be identified, successful care paths can be determined, and emerging patterns can be recognized to help in finding the most effective interventions. And, healthier populations will result in less expense to the healthcare system overall.
Healthcare providers continue to face new and growing challenges across the marketplace. From the release of the MACRA final rule to the consumerization of healthcare, there is a lot to balance and manage. It can be hard to keep up while also trying to provide quality care and get paid. As a result, providers continue to look at alternate payment models according to a new survey from Kareo and the American Academy of Private Physicians (AAPP).
The survey shows that 25 percent of practices are now using some kind of direct pay, concierge, or other membership model in their practice. This number stayed steady from the 2015 study to the 2016 study. Most do not have all their patients on one of these models, but 30 percent have completely transitioned their practice. The results show that many practices are testing these models while still offering patient other options like traditional fee-for-service. This may suggest that physicians want to see how successful the models before shifting their entire practice.
Another 35 percent of providers say they are considering a change in part or in whole to an alternate model like direct pay or concierge. The reasons are consistent with the results from the 2015 survey. The top reason cited was to separate from the insurance payer system, closely followed by spending more time with patients and improving work/life balance.
The survey indicates that those physicians who do switch see improvements in those areas. Physicians using direct pay, concierge or another membership model spend more time with patients, see fewer patients each day at longer visits, and work fewer hours than their fee-for-service counterparts.
This infographic shows the details of both the differences and the similarities when physicians use private pay models versus fee-for-service models.
In its latest edition of Health Tech Report, a CDW publication, the publication brings up a few of what it calls the top health IT trends to come in the next few months including EHR user satisfaction and BYOD and its risks.
The trends — though some are obvious and some are aspirational — are all worthy of taking a closer look at. Some of the trends listed, like raising the bar on meaningful use and HIEs gaining steam, have already had plenty of attention, but are likely to continue playing a huge role in healthcare and health IT.
What’s particularly interesting from the perspective of the magazine’s editors is that there seems to be a real shift from getting healthcare into IT to hot the technology is changing the business of healthcare and opening opportunities and inroads not previously explored.
Alex Bratton, CEO of Lextech, discusses his company, its vision, why it’s important to healthcare and how the changing landscape of health app is affecting health outcomes and the industry as a whole.
What is Lextech and why does it matter to healthcare?
Lextech is a mobile app development company that evaluates business workflows to identify and build apps that improve processes and make the complex simple. Mobile apps will become increasingly important to the healthcare industry for two reasons: they are instrumental in helping caregivers and insurance companies build direct relationships with patients, and they can help drive healthcare costs down. With the massive changes taking place in healthcare, and the uncertainty that goes with change, it’s crucial for healthcare service providers to create a strong bond with patients by giving them tools and information that make their lives easier.
What do your clients say works wonderfully? What doesn’t work so well? Why?
Lextech is known for its Billion Dollar App (BDA) process, which focuses organizations on developing the right app for the right reason, and to use that app to improve processes. This approach often results in significant cost savings and efficiencies. The opposite of this, which doesn’t work well, is what we call the “obvious app.” An example of an obvious app in healthcare is to squish a desktop-oriented EHR system onto an iPad. This is inadequate because it doesn’t streamline a process and it certainly doesn’t simplify users’ access to information. The better approach is focusing on a portion of the healthcare workflow and driving small portions of the EHR data and functionality through a brand new window–an intuitive app. Important questions need to be asked before developing an app, including: what are we trying to accomplish with this app, how will people use this app, why will they use the app, and what problem does it fix?