We are continuing our conversation concerning the rapidly evolving role of digital health & primary care capacity during this period of enormous changes unfolding as a result of COVID-19. Today, we are sharing an older and particularly relevant article highlighting an important factor often lost during a crisis like this current pandemic. The oft overlooked factor is the actual relationship between the patient and the providers, how important the relationship is for improving health, especially during times like these where healthcare delivery and access is even more fragmented and transactional given the incredible surges in volume.
In these tense times, Digital Health and Telehealth services can be an integral piece of the puzzle towards keeping people safe and maintaining social distance while allowing patients access to the medical resources they need and giving care providers actionable information about their patients. More and more states are clearing barriers to access for these services as a viable resource for patients in need. We at C3LX support the much needed expansion of Digital Health offerings, and we also believe that these technology solutions need to support continuity of care and patient-provider relationships, not merely transactions where care goals, underlying conditions and pre-existing conditions have to be repeated each time.
A well-known deficiency in our current healthcare system is access to affordable primary care providers that patients know and trust, and who know them. At C3LX, we believe that under our current Covid-19 situation, the statement about “know and trust, and who know them” is of utmost importance. Two issues already presenting during this Covid-19 outbreak are the unnecessary use of the ED by patients lacking affordable primary care access (causing delays for the patients that absolutely need to be in the ED), and the lack of patient knowledge and care continuity when a patient uses a telehealth service that links to a provider who has never worked with the patient before. Digital and telehealth can add much needed capacity for primary care practices, but these technical offerings need to support continuity of care and relationships, not merely transactions where care goals, underlying conditions and pre-existing conditions have to be repeated each time.
Can Direct Primary Care actually eliminate the headaches of insurance while also providing quality care to patients?
Have you heard about the healthcare model referred to as "Direct Primary Care" (DPC)? DPC ensures that patients receive the primary medical care they need without billing insurance. If this sounds unbelievable, let’s take a moment to examine the facts:
Can design thinking improve health care for patients and physicians?
Studies show that 40% of deaths from top chronic diseases are preventable through lifestyle changes. While this is a sobering statistic, it also presents a real opportunity for physicians to help patients improve their health. Behavioral design examines an individual’s learned habits and then helps to implement techniques to influence a change in those habits.
According to the CDC, chronic diseases account for seven of the top ten causes of death in the U.S. and consume 86% of the nation’s annual healthcare spending. The increasing cost and prevalence make chronic disease management one of healthcare’s most challenging priorities. Population health efforts have become critical to identifying and improving chronic disease outcomes through targeted and consistent disease management protocols. Providers have started blending risk stratification models, medical history and sometimes even social determinant data to create targeted care plans. However, if we still don’t actually understand the patient, there is a missing link.
Effective connections between trusted care teams and employer populations lead to better population health, employee productivity, and reduced healthcare costs.
1. Access to actionable data
2. Care team focus
3. Personalized Connection
As discussed in the 2019 article “A Framework for Increasing Trust Between Patients and the Organizations that Care for Them,” we believe there is deep opportunity for patient engagement in understanding patient hearts and minds. Where does trust begin? What are the aspects of the patient relationship that can be fine-tuned to grow and maintain this trust?
While popular, workplace wellness programs aren’t targeting those who need it.
The C3LX office sits between Denver and Boulder - cities filled with a high number of athletic, fit, and healthy people. Yes, we employ a great risk pool in one of the healthiest areas of the country. Yet, we build technologies that help people who are at risk or who are already dealing with chronicity. It’s a paradox. Engaging our population is a “nice to do.” Engaging a more serious risk pool is a “must do,” yet many employers are still toying with wellness programs and engaging the already healthy portion of their population. While well-intentioned, there are some key reasons why these workplace wellness programs don’t work, with additional supporting evidence in this article from NPR: