On August 23-24, InfoWorks had the opportunity to be a sponsor for Nashville’s Jumpstart Foundry’s healthcare innovation summit, Health:Further.
As the registration sponsor, we jumped on the opportunity to ask questions of some of the brightest minds in healthcare today. We asked summit attendees the question, “What do you think is the greatest disruptive force to traditional healthcare delivery today?”. We were able to capture more than 25% of the over 500 attendees, and the results were intriguing.
The perception from summit attendees is the top two challenges in healthcare today are the impending effects of payment method reform and consumers taking charge of their own healthcare, followed by access to care. These themes echoed through the entire summit, in fact. While these are two different forces impacting healthcare delivery, there is a commonality: a focus on patients.
A quick primer on payment reform: Traditionally, Medicare makes separate payments to providers for each service they perform for beneficiaries during a single illness or course of treatment, also known as ‘fee for service’. Medicare is in the process of making a shift to bundled payments, which are intended to align incentives for ambulatory providers, hospitals, post-acute care providers, physicians, and other providers to collaborate care management across the continuum of care.
What this means for the healthcare industry is that patient engagement and experience are more important than ever. IDEO, an award-winning global design firm out of California, spoke at the Health:Further summit about work they have done helping healthcare organizations redesign the patient experience. Their clients are finding ways to humanize healthcare by honoring the patient.
What can your organization do to make sure it is prepared for this vision of the future of healthcare? Start with observation. Put yourself in your patients’ shoes, even before they come into contact with you. What are they seeing and hearing? Ask them questions if you can. Your patients may consume healthcare very differently from you, as a healthcare professional, so what they say may surprise you.
Once you understand what your customers experience, start thinking about what you could change. Brainstorm with your team and identify the mission critical changes, as well as the low hanging fruit that may in fact delight your customers! Try out some changes and see what happens, then make adjustments as needed. You will be well on your way to engaging more with your patients, who are moving towards taking charge of their own care.
If you are interested in learning more about these issues, we’ve written here on this blog before about the impact of payment reform to practices in terms of revenue cycle management and process and people requirements. We’ve also written about the evolution of the patient experience and some of the frustrations patients face.