How can you take your place in consumers’ trusted inner circles? Help people — efficiently, effectively, consistently — throughout their care journey.
During the 2017 HealthShare Executive Summit, healthcare leaders shared insights into industry trends that spotlight consumers, and their strategies for meeting those challenges. Among their priorities:
Create new access points. Healthcare consumerism means creating new ways to get care. Eric Topol, MD, chief academic officer at Scripps Health, shared the example of telemedicine. While consumers view it as a convenient alternative to a time-consuming clinic visit, providers may resist phone- and screen-based visits. The information is readily available to support these visits, but processes and resistance to change need to be addressed so that new technologies can effectively support 21st-century healthcare.
Lead the way in healthcare choice and access. Health systems are taking more of a leading role in helping consumers to choose and access care. Margaret Sabin, president and CEO of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, spoke about her organization’s desire to work with patients beyond campus boundaries. As she says: “People decide about their health at home.” Health systems must enlarge and extend their care models, using technology to bridge care gaps across the entire patient journey and to build consumer loyalty.
Address the social determinants of health. As more organizations recognize that social factors influence the majority of health issues, they are focusing on preventive health. As Dean Ornish, MD, founder and president of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute, pointed out, treating a health issue is profitable for health systems. But, he asked, “what if a hospital got paid to have prevented that issue?” Current reimbursement changes provide opportunities to positively engage with and influence patients earlier in the care cycle and outside of the hospital.
Think holistically. Collaboration ensures a more holistic view of healthcare. Health systems are now partnering with other health systems, government entities, community and private organizations, and insurers to update their care models.
Leading healthcare executives agree: Healthcare’s future will focus on technology-enabled, consumer-centered care that builds trust and loyalty throughout the patient journey. Keeping patients well will require health systems to earn their place in a consumer’s inner circle.