Healthcare News & Insights

Health care’s key to improving health, care and cost

GettyImages-124205941 (1)Patients – including their countless behavioral, environmental and psychosocial features – are perhaps the most critical factor in the shift to better health outcomes. But while patients are essential, there are a few other factors that drive quality care: reliance on evidence-based care, accessibility of care and affordability of care. In this guest post, Kristin Stitt, DNP, a consultant at an integrated care management software company, reviews the importance of evidence-based, patient-focused care.

__________________________________________________________

With over $2.5 trillion being spent on healthcare costs each year, it makes the U.S. first in the world in per capita healthcare spending. Although this exorbitant amount is spent on healthcare, it doesn’t necessarily result in better care — with Americans having poorer health than their first-world counterparts.

Given that healthcare spending is reaching crisis levels, care management software finds itself at a critical junction between payors and provider organizations. Research and experience have shifted attention to the importance of patients at the center of this reform.

Past experience

The fundamental importance of evidence-based, patient-focused care is undeniable. Yet, clearly defining and putting these concepts into action on a daily basis continues to be a struggle for providers. The past is proof that a one-size-fits-all approach to evolving patient behavior is ineffective — and this trial and error has spurred the push for patient-centered care.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 70% of health outcomes are related to evidence-based, accessible, affordable care — only enforcing this transition to value-based care. And healthcare spending will continue to be suboptimal until there is a shift in these factors. Providers and patients alike must recognize the patient’s part in moving to an evidence-based practice if the healthcare industry ever wants to reach accountability for healthcare outcomes.

Robust care plan

For healthcare systems to truly keep up with the fast-paced movement to value-based care, they have to acknowledge the patient’s participation in success. And this acknowledgement includes managing individual patient’s health and care across the whole care spectrum, while specifically engaging them in the process.

While this is a multifaceted process, a care plan serves as the blueprint to guide providers in the execution. A robust care plan incorporates a person’s medical and psychosocial needs, evidence-based interventions to address those needs, and a person’s individual preferences and values regarding the goals of proposed treatment plans. It captures the process designed to meet those goals and assigns accountability along the way.

While it’s easy to outline what needs to happen for a change in health outcomes, actually putting this plan into action isn’t for the faint-hearted. Behavioral modification comes with challenges — namely time constraints in the current care system. And to do this, providers must identify, stratify, engage, modify and assess patient’s unique characteristics and the resulting behavior that affect health outcomes so much, all while keeping cost and efficiency in mind.

In order for a care coordination platform to be successful, it must first evaluate a patient’s willingness to change, assessing a patient’s response to evidence-based treatment, and identifying in real time where break-downs occur. Once this information is shared across the entire care spectrum, a comprehensive and organized delivery of evidence-based, patient-centered care is achievable.

Care coordination

Care coordination software is the most favorable answer to this looming issue of efficacy and cost. With coordinated care as the heart of an effective and caring health system, health assessment can gain actionable, outcome-focused measures.

The prospect of comprehensive care coordination solutions becoming the platform to spread and make evidence based care practicable is clear. As these solutions capture treatment plans at the point of care, as well as individual patient choices and responses, alterations to adapt to both factors, and advancement toward mutually established goals, it’s hard to deny their unstoppable force.

In the end, being able to convert data into action, watch the care plan play out, and adapt to each patient’s needs to move toward a defined outcome will drive improvement in health outcomes.

Kristin Stitt is an advanced practice nurse with experience in analytics, system management, implementation science, predictive modeling and care coordination. She’s a consultant, clinical strategy at Rounding Well, an integrated care management software company.

 

Subscribe Today

Get the latest and greatest healthcare news and insights delivered to your inbox.