patient-centric healthcare: how to thrive in a new era
Many clinical labs, hospital labs, and others in the healthcare space are not as concerned as they should be with the rise of patient-centric medicine. They may be focused on cost-cutting, on increasing volume, or on hitting other short-term, first-order goals. However, the age of patient-centric practice is already in progress, and in order to thrive, all providers will have to adapt, preferably sooner than later.
A piece in Dark Daily, "Is a Patient-Centric Approach to Clinical Laboratory Management the Best Way to Move from Volume to Value?" by Joseph Burns, notes the disconnect that some labs have regarding the urgency of moving to a patient-centric business model. "With the era of fee-for-service medicine under siege, every clinical laboratory and anatomic pathology organization needs a strategy for getting paid, as new reimbursement models that support patient-centric care will make up a larger portion of lab revenues," writes Burns.
Burns goes on to note some causes for optimism. Many labs already have the resources they need to transition to an increasingly patient-centered approach. They simply need to take stock, marshal their resources, and face and embrace the oncoming change.
Make Sure Your Data Approach Is Up to Date
Compared to a volume-centric or accessioning-centric business model, a patient-centric business model requires different, sometimes more creative approaches to the gathering and leveraging of data.
The Burns piece includes an illuminating interview with Roger Atlas, CEO of Southern California-based Atlas Medical. Atlas draws attention to longitudinal data as a great tool for clinical labs. "Clinical labs that have longitudinal data on patients are supporting the continuum of care for the patient and are delivering greater value to their physician customers," Atlas says.
By simply adding lab test orders to the data repository, notes Atlas, labs can save themselves all sorts of unneeded testing, along with the associated patient and staff strife.
Change Your Business Model (Before the Business Changes You)
"Trends reshaping clinical care and the laboratory testing market are almost completely dependent on being patient-centric," Atlas says, highlighting the needed reduction of duplicate and unnecessary testing, reforms in testing and reporting, and a greater premium placed on patient outcomes.
"Every initiative that laboratories need to do to support the continuum of care is focused on the patient," says Atlas.
To spot important trends, start with basic wisdom about patient-centered healthcare and from there, strategize outward and onward. It is safe to assume that nearly every new wrinkle in the healthcare landscape will result from a shift toward a more patient-centric model
Embrace New Technologies
Innovation happens at the edges where the old meets the new. Many of the most important recent innovations have sprung from simple improvements in user experience, a major key to patient-centric medicine.
The advent of microsampling technology provides one useful example.
Thanks to advances in technology, it is now possible to generate previously unbelievable amounts of useful data from very small amounts of blood or other biological fluid. However, the potential of smarter specimen collection had previously been stymied by the lack of innovation at the sampling event itself. The Mitra microsampling device was developed to allow volumetrically accurate micro-volumes of fluid to be collected by nearly anyone, anywhere, at any time.
It started with a goal of improving the patient experience. What resulted was a workable alternative both to venipuncture and to outmoded dried blood spotting methods. And now, with the rise of remote sampling, labs can expand their reach in ways never before anticipated. For such a simple device, that’s pretty good!
When considering new technologies, ask yourself one question: "Is it patient-centric?" This is a more compassionate approach - and the future of your business may depend on it.
Topics: Clinical Diagnostics