The PPACA known as Healthcare Reform Act in the United States is driving major change in our industry around accountability for the quality outcome of our care. It is making providers accountable for the care that is delivered with measures that will be reported by patients. As I monitor these major changes, it makes me wonder how we can really implement the critically needed change. I wonder, why is the US dead last compared to 6 other leading free world nations” in healthcare quality measures and we spend almost double per capita for healthcare than other countries according to the Commonwealth Fund (June, 2010). Many believe the concepts that have been embraced by the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) under the direction of Dr. Don Berwick, (appointed on July 7, 2010 by President Barack Obama to serve as the Administrator of the CMS) can drive change. As CMS is the largest healthcare payer in the US, (over half), they can lead a major change of this nature and have adopted the “Triple-Aim” model of evidenced based care and wellness. The aspiration goals, or the Triple Aim, is a phrase coined by Dr. Berwick and it is all about focusing on how to drive improvement so that our populations are healthier, our patients receive better care and instead of working within a volume based business model, move to one of quality and value that rewards prevention, wellness and a positive patient experience.
How can Cisco influence and enable this within our Healthcare Ecosystem?
I believe that the Medical-Grade Network and Cisco advanced video and collaboration technologies enable the healthcare ecosystem to deliver better patient care (safety and quality), better health (disease and population management) and lower the cost per capita of care delivery. Using the power of the network, surveillance and monitoring technology to enable patients to be assessed successfully in lower acuity environments or home settings, cost reduction balanced with quality can be achieved. The proposal is that the network is analogous to the central nervous system of the body whereby it has the intelligence to support the body functions when and where they are needed. The Medical-Grade Network enables data, voice and video sharing which provides the support for the patient, care providers and specialists to adopt health and wellness programs, to scale scarce resources for first responder advice, to give the clinicians the ability to collaborate more effectively, to deliver the right information at the right time and to extend the reach of care.
Can Cisco positively impact the Health of our population and Healthcare Ecosystem? Why or why not?
Better Health for the Population:
Population Health is all about wellness and illness prevention.
- Leverage the network to drive innovative healthcare delivery models which move care into the places we work, live and play.
Better Care for the Individual:
The second initiative or goal is to drive better care for individuals. Care delivery happens everywhere – in the hospital, the clinic, the doctor’s office, the campus clinic and even the home. To bring these environments together, the network is at the core of enabling access to information, people, applications and services. Care delivery can be improved and result in the quality patient experience that care providers will need to follow.
- By Leveraging the network for voice and video to enhance the patient experience when care is delivered.
- By providing integration of medical device information for patients who are technology-dependent, we can allow access to the right information when required.
- Enabling collaboration among patients, care providers and health plan.
- Leveraging the network to provide access to healthcare professionals regardless of physical location.
- Increasing and equalizing access to care and trusted information in new and innovative care delivery mechanisms.
Lower Cost Through Improvement:
Per capita cost reduction is enabled by getting the right information to the care team when needed and in the appropriate care setting. Moving patients out to lesser acute environments and proactively monitoring chronic disease such as Diabetes and COPD leads to lower cost of care. The requirement to more actively monitor your patients in lower care settings will drive up the quality and reduce the per capital costs. Using the power of the Medical-Grade Network and technology to enable care delivery and prevention in a more cost contained manner.
- Enhancing clinical decision making and providing the right information at the right time to make key clinical decisions.
- Enabling the sharing clinical information and medical histories through the Health Information Exchanges (HIE).
- Controlling shrinkage of medical devices, supplies and equipment used throughout the patient care process through automated tracking.
- Leveraging the network to facilitate a healthcare cloud based service which brings the clinician to the patient in all areas of care and wellness delivery.
- Allowing for the transport of critical assessment and medical device data from low acuity environments to the care provider empowered to intervene before the acute care episode occurs.