For decades, it was easy to determine the quality of care a patient received: The quality of service directly correlated with the patient’s out-of-pocket fee. The fee-for-service healthcare payment model standardized care regarding how much, or what to what degree of quality the patient received.
However, digital transformation has revolutionized and redefined clinical value as it lives on the axis of individual and consumer data insights, making the emphasis on value-driven care stronger than ever. And yet, a majority of patients still identify with the fee-for-service paradigm.
As part of the digital revolution towards value-based care, providers are tasked with the mission of actively engaging with patients, encouraging them to understand and commit to wellness-based lifestyles. The provider’s objective is to help patients better understand the true cost of care. In this article, we will discuss three ways practitioners can engage their patients in a value-driven dialogue. With the goal of instilling a mentality of lifelong wellness, providers play a vital role is positioning patients at the center of the health ecosystem.
Reframe Health as a Lifelong Asset
Most providers and patients know that healthcare spending in the United States far exceeds any other industrialized nation. And yet, the sad truth is that Americans have lower life expectancies, higher incidences of chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, and have high infant mortality rates. While researchers work fervently to identify the underlying causes of such large-scale health problems, some argue the US populations current standing results from a single, straightforward claim: Healthcare isn’t seen as a long-term investment by a majority of Americans.
Instead, consumers are more likely to focus on the short-term costs associated with care, a natural disposition considering the current cost-shift in payment models. However, by providing patients with the tools necessary for redefining health and wellness as a life-long, worthwhile investment, providers can help combat the consumer mentality. It’s imperative that providers open the dialogue with their patients to encourage self-care and continued assessment with their medical team. Providers should aim to empower patients; allowing them to acknowledge the impact of personal, everyday health care decisions both on their pocketbook and ultimately their future lifestyle.
Technological shifts are placing good patient outcomes at the provider’s and patient’s fingertips—literally. Big data and sophisticated analytics have shown the promising potential to have an impact on chronic disease and positive health outcomes. For instance, shared data and wearable technologies are bridging the gap between provider and patient relations. By tapping into the available analytics, providers can more easily and efficiently consolidate a wealth of data into clear, meaningful patient insights.
26 percent of medical professionals ranked new technologies as one of their top 3 priorities last year, and 8 percent of patients said they are leveraging patient-centered analytics. These statistics reflect how data analytics offer a keen opportunity for providers to embrace and integrate technologies into their practice, and how they can leverage patient engagement, awareness, and self-monitorization and discipline.
Put Data into Action
Merely providing data may not be enough to entirely connect with your patient platform, especially as fitness trackers, mobile applications, and other individualized information systems are vying for your patient’s attention. Consider putting the data you have into action. For instance, provide data on cardiovascular disease or diabetes to assist in weight loss. The information and actions you employ must produce timely and practical insights that help consumers make healthy, informed choices about their health.
One way to create actionable data is to integrate it into a solution from a number of sources. Marrying consumer-generated data (such as that from fitness trackers), to environmental and medical data will produce a more comprehensive overview of a patient’s health status. The context provided by this manifest solution can help patients understand their decisions in that moment and guide them to more positive health choices.
Patients are keen on becoming more active participants in their healthcare, especially as technology and access to data had made the process more streamlined. As the shift from fee-for-service to value-driven care continues to become a more prevalent reality, it’s critical that providers see how this shift will impact their interactions with patients. The change in approach will necessitate a change in not only provider’s organizational philosophy, but also in how they view their patients. By putting patients at the center of the equation, providers will know where to start the conversation to strive for ultimate patient success.