On October 7th, Privia Medical Group hosted our annual Fall networking event. This year, the keynote speaker was Dr. Harry Greenspun, healthcare innovation expert and Director at Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. Dr. Greenspun has an impressive background; he’s been named one of the 50 most influential physician executives in healthcare by Modern Healthcare, co-authored “Re-engineering Healthcare” and is on advisory boards for World Economic Forum, WellPoint, HIIMS, and Georgetown University.
Dr. Greenspun addressed the group, which was comprised of both Privia Medical Group physicians and the area’s top independent physicians. His interactive conversation focused on the future of health, and four main topics: sharing information, coordinating care, engaging consumers, and using data and analytics.
Information sharing has been at the forefront of conversations as electronic health records (EHRs) have become increasingly used. Dr. Greenspun noted that in the past, physicians did not share patient information, as it was against their interests. Now, with the rise of value-based reimbursements, the trend has shifted to sharing healthcare records across specialities and physicians, because it is directly tied to physician success. Some patient concerns around personal privacy are not to be overlooked, but Dr. Greenspun shared insight from his research that, in fact, most patients are happy to have their personal health records shared with relevant physicians if it means a seamless, quality approach to their care.
Closely in line with the topic of information sharing, explained Dr. Greenspun, is care coordination: providing patients the right care at the right time, whether they are in the office or not. If this sounds like a lot of work, it is. Successful care coordination requires a team of pharmacists, social workers, intensive care managers, nurse educators, and quality specialists that allow patients a full support structure to manage and maintain their health. Some of the best indicators of a person’s health are things that happen outside of a doctor’s office: at the pharmacy, gym, or urgent care center, for example. In order to practice effective care coordination, independent physicians must look for ways to access these important teams in a cost-effective way, such as joining a group with shared resources.
As care coordination becomes increasingly important, patients are developing into more choosy consumers: weighing the quality, price, and alternatives just like with any other service. Dr. Greenspun emphasized this consumerization of patients, and shed light on how the physician community could approach this trend. “Why is it,” he asked, “that I can pull up my Chipotle app to find the nearest location to order a burrito online, but I can’t access my doctor or see a map of nearest hospitals from my phone?” In daily life, consumers expect access to their favorite companies at their fingertips, along with choices as to which businesses they frequent. Healthcare is no exception, so physicians must adapt to look at patients as consumers. The question, then, becomes: how do independent physicians continue to provide quality care while also providing white glove service and easy access to patients? Few have the time or capital to stand this up on their own. Just as a Chipotle franchise has more resources to please consumers than a mom-and-pop taco stand, a physician who is a part of a technology- and service-oriented group will have more success providing patients with the experience they are looking for.
In order to succeed at information sharing, care coordination, and consumer engagement, Dr. Greenspun explained that physicians need to gain access to data and analytics, and use this information to provide better service and care to patients. Data is becoming more and more available to physicians through EHRs and exchanges, and the possibilities for its use seem nearly endless. Dr. Greenspun warned that physicians must not become inundated by too much information, however, rather focusing on the most relevant data. Physicians in 2015 and beyond need to start looking at patients and their businesses the way other companies do: looking at consumer habits to predict behavior, and acting on that information. Imagine if we could tell a patient’s risk for heart disease based on his food shopping habits, and send him a reminder for an annual physical; that is the future of healthcare that Dr. Greenspun and others believe we are entering.
There is much progress still to be made in healthcare innovation, and Dr. Greenspun pointed out that new solutions must be integrated with existing physician workflow to gain long term traction. The groups that will be most successful moving forward must recognize the importance of data and technology, while using physicians as quarterbacks to work towards better, quality-based health care for patients across the country.
To learn more about Privia Medical Group’s approach to health innovation, and to join future events, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.