Digitized Healthcare: Engaging The New Consumer Patient

Posted by Mike Fontana on 10 Mar 2015

Digitized Healthcare: Engaging The New Consumer Patient

We recently moderated a panel of healthcare providers and payers around the topic of Patient Engagement. While not a simple topic to discuss as it can encompass many things, it is of such importance in my opinion that not keeping it front and center and in continued dialogue would be a disservice to the betterment of the healthcare industry.

We started the session by asking the participants to lay a foundation by defining healthcare consumerism and determine the important parts within the definition. You could see from the discussion that particular areas stood front and center. This included the importance of having the consumer as Active Participant and the inclusion of Wellness as part of their mindset.

It was important that the panel continued to develop the initial layer by putting their arms around how this new consumer may want to be evaluating if they were really receiving value from their experiences within the healthcare system. Here the panel turned to Michael Porter from the Harvard Business School who had looked to quantify value several years prior. His economic equation looks at Value as the result of Clinical Outcomes multiplied by the Patient Experience and divided by the Total Costs to deliver the outcomes and experience. Looking at it in this way could be applied to both episodes within the patient care delivery, and most importantly, to the long-term results, the patient had encountered.

Speaking to the work of Mr. Porter, and his ideas, was a very good point of reference for the speakers as he puts the consumer in the center of the healthcare relationships and is an advocate around quality outcomes and efficiencies of services provided within the healthcare system. He is an advocate for bundled and value-based payments to accomplish this.

Having this as the basis was necessary in order that they could start to determine what was both affecting and important in developing this digitized relationship, which is very much associated when speaking about engaging the patient. These electronic communications, data access, and touch points will continue to be even more important and grow for several reasons we have spoken about in other blogs. As previously mentioned, the baby boomers are aging and their very numbers will have an effect on volume in the healthcare system. This group of people will want to stay healthy and physically active and access the healthcare system as much as they believe they need to.

Given these wants and needs from the new consumer (which fit in with how the healthcare system will need to offer services in order to be as efficient as they can), whether the baby boomers or the generations following, something they have in common is the want to do this electronically, from both a clinical and administrative means, as much as possible. As Mr. Porter talks about in his principles, healthcare needs to meet the needs of the consumer by having services which are of value to each individual, given their specific outcome expectations.

In a subsequent blog, we will take a further look at the panel's thoughts on digitized relationships and disruptive innovation and process.

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Mike Fontana Healthcare Industry Executive Mike has served in various roles for Consumer Directed Health Care Technology companies. His background also includes Management, Market Development, Consultant, and other roles for healthcare providers, financial institutions, and payers. Mike holds an MBA in Finance from Pace University in New York.

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