The partnership between UCSF and Dignity Healthcare in the development of a patient engagement platform is an exciting leap in the realization of Holistic Patient Engagement Models and Partner Based Collaborations.
For years, the industry has recognized that Electronic Health Records, Population Health and Value Based care should ultimately greatly enhance clinical outcomes and the patient’s experience. As long ago as June 2007, a McKinsey Quarterly article “Overhauling the US health care payment system” argued that the greater “electronification” of health care transactions, the growing adoption of standards, and increasing innovation by cross-industry entrants would lead to a major restructuring of the US health care payments value chain”.
Properly implemented, this improved approach to patient engagement could and should also improve patients’ financial experiences. But 11-years have passed, and we are just now experiencing major change in the patient engagement landscape. The slow pace of awareness and adoption is probably attributable to the complexity of the issue and fundamental industry dynamics that often inhibit innovation.
We applaud the increased focus on the clinical dimension of patient engagement. It is obvious that Dignity and UCSF are leadership standard bearers in the industry for good reason.
At the same time, we’re compelled to call out that over and over again we typically see decidedly less attention and fewer resources applied to the financial dimension. This represents an opportunity to push the envelope even more because patients are increasingly in a position to demand it from their providers. Moreover, the efficacy of clinical engagement initiatives can be compromised when patients’ financial stressors are excluded.
With the Affordable Care Act and various interpretations of subsequent legislation and executive orders, we are seeing more, not less complexity in patient health care transactions. The situation is aggravated by ever-increasing level of patient deductibles, escalating abandonments of care due to cost and the need for healthcare providers to realistically handle patient costs while increasing patient satisfaction and loyalty.
Cross-hospital system and cross-industry collaborations (note the JP Morgan, Amazon and Berkshire-Hathaway coalition announcement on January 30, 2018) are no doubt the first steps in the creation of comprehensive patient engagement models to holistically improve the experience of Healthcare’s most valuable asset, the Patient. We expect to see exponential growth in similar Healthcare based co-collaborations across seemingly separate industries and look forward to the improved clinical and financial experiences these collaborations promise.