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The consumerization of health care: How patient-centricity is key to greater efficiency

Blog
Article

Physicians can improve patient outcomes with evolving health tech solutions that are becoming more accessible and relevant to patients.

doctor with tablet senior woman: © peopleimages.com - stock.adobe.com

© peopleimages.com - stock.adobe.com

Health care's dynamic landscape is undergoing significant changes, driven by escalating administrative tasks, reimbursement challenges, workforce shortages and expanding patient counts. Previously, health tech solutions primarily focused on physicians and other health care professionals, aiming to streamline their workflows and improve efficiency. However, as the industry evolves, it is becoming increasingly crucial for these solutions to appeal to and empower patients directly. This paradigm shift enhances end-user adoption rates by making health tech more accessible and relevant to patients, who are becoming more active participants in their health care. By focusing on patient needs, physicians and other clinicians can improve patient outcomes, increase satisfaction and build stronger engagement. This patient-centric approach demonstrates the tangible value of health tech, creating stronger collaborations between health care providers and health tech enterprises. Together, they can achieve mutual goals of improved care delivery and operational efficiency, setting the stage for a more efficient and patient-focused future.

Decoding the pivot to patient-centricity

© OneStep

Patrick Tarnowski
© OneStep

Patient-centered care involves designing health care solutions that are tailored to the specific needs and preferences of patients. This strategy improves patient satisfaction and health outcomes while reducing the workload on providers and enhancing their ability to provide high-quality care. A critical component of this approach is precision health care, which personalizes diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing patient management based on unique patient characteristics. Taha Kass-Hout, MD, MS, chief technology officer of GE HealthCare, states, "Digital technology and artificial intelligence are at the forefront of this next wave of breakthroughs in precision health care, a holistic approach that integrates various technologies to tailor diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing monitoring and management for optimal patient outcomes." Additionally, patient empowerment – equipping patients with the knowledge, skills and confidence to take an active role in their health care decisions – plays a significant role. Engaged patients are better informed and more likely to adhere to their treatment plans, leading to better overall health outcomes. This shift towards patient-centricity is particularly impactful for smaller and medium-sized practices, where resources may be limited, and efficient, effective care is paramount. However, it is also crucial for large health systems, which have more dollars at risk and can benefit significantly from the enhanced outcomes and operational efficiencies that patient-centric care provides.

Implications for diverse practice sizes

Physicians and other clinicians may find adopting new health tech solutions challenging due to resource constraints and the need to maintain streamlined operations. Patient-focused solutions can mitigate these challenges by offering several key benefits:

Elevated patient engagement Providing patients with the knowledge and tools to actively participate in their care leads to increased engagement. Engaged patients are more likely to adhere to treatment protocols, resulting in improved health outcomes. Research from the National Institutes of Health indicates that engaged patients are 34% more likely to follow their prescribed treatment plans, leading to reduced hospital readmissions. Health tech solutions that offer real-time feedback and continuous monitoring, improve communication between patients and providers, further enhancing engagement.

Efficient workflows It’s crucial for health tech solutions to smoothly meld into existing workflows. Platforms offering remote accessibility and seamless electronic medical record integration make it easier for providers to infuse new data into their practice without disturbing their present routine, maintaining, and ultimately enhancing, operational efficiency.

Data-driven decision-making Clinically validated data gives providers a reliable measure of patient progress. This data can be used to justify care decisions, monitor recovery trajectories, and identify patients at risk of complications. Such insights are particularly valuable in practices where comprehensive diagnostic tools may not be readily available.

Monetary advantages of patient-centered care

Centering patients in health care delivery offers significant financial advantages for practices as well. By focusing on patient needs, practices can facilitate better decision-making and improve the quality of care, which in turn leads to financial benefits.

Furthermore, the advent of remote monitoring, accelerated by the pandemic, has introduced a way for providers to generate new revenue streams and counteract the pressures of rising costs and shrinking profit margins while enhancing care quality. Remote monitoring enables continuous observation and proactive management of patients' health, leading to better outcomes and operational efficiency. For instance, a study found that remote patient monitoring (RPM) programs can reduce 30-day hospital readmission rates by 50%, translating into substantial savings for health systems and improved patient well-being. By placing the patient at the center through precise and continuous monitoring, health care providers can offer more personalized and effective care, which improves patient outcomes and enhances patient satisfaction and retention.

Specifically, in physical therapy, rehabilitation and senior care environments, remote therapeutic monitoring (RTM) allows for the billing of monitoring and measurement activities, providing a new revenue stream for practices. This dual benefit of improved care and financial gain creates a more sustainable and effective health care ecosystem.

Conclusion

The consumerization of health care through the adoption of patient-focused care is transforming the industry, making it more efficient and effective for both patients and providers. For providers, these solutions lead to improved patient engagement, streamlined workflows and better-informed care decisions. By leveraging advanced health tech, such as remote monitoring, providers can deliver more personalized and proactive care, enhancing both patient outcomes and financial performance.

As we move towards a more patient-focused and precise health care future, health tech solutions must continue to evolve to ensure all patients and providers benefit from these advancements. By embracing the next wave of care, we can create a system that is more responsive to patient needs and supportive of the providers who deliver their care, ultimately creating a more effective and sustainable system.

As chief commercial officer at OneStep, Patrick Tarnowski is accountable for the company’s U.S. market entry through strategic provider partnerships. His deep health care experience as a leader in health plans, health systems, medical devices, startups and digital care delivery support and enable OneStep’s growth and scale.

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