As any of the more than 170,000 attendees knows well, Dreamforce 2018 was an action- and information-packed four days filled with dawn to midnight presentations, client meetings and networking. At the risk of stating the obvious, there isn’t time for much reflection during the event. It’s only in the weeks since that I have had the opportunity to identify the most impactful moments.
For me, it was the Population Health Thought Leadership Session hosted by Susan Collins, vice president, strategic partnerships, healthcare & life sciences for Salesforce. I was joined by Sunil Badhrani, Innovation Health’s chief medical officer & chief medical information officer, Ryan Hamilton, Cerner’s senior vice president population health and Hosain Rahman, Jawbone Health’s CEO & founder, for a conversation about what’s working in population health and what the near- and medium-term future holds.
Two key themes that emerged from our session were:
- The importance of the physician-patient relationship and
- The need for all of the stakeholders in healthcare to collaborate on behalf of the patient
The Physician-Patient Relationship
At Geneia, we have a long history of emphasizing the importance of the doctor-patient relationship. In fact, our Physician Misery Index helped to call much-needed attention to epidemic levels of physician burnout and galvanize the industry, including ourselves, to do more to restore the Joy of Medicine.
Just as importantly, the primacy of the doctor-patient relationship is a central tenet in our product design. As I emphasized in our Dreamforce session, “Rather than being glorified data entry clerks, physicians are seeking a meaningful relationship with their patients. Likewise, patients want to be known and understood by their doctor.”
At Geneia, we believe technology, when designed with the physician in mind, can support and enhance the doctor-patient relationship. As I reiterated in our session, “Geneia is not a customer relationship management (CRM) solution, but because of our partnership with Salesforce, our clients have the benefit of delivering integrated data and patient-level insights to the CRM. That means physicians can really know their patients without, for example, having to ask them all of the questions they’ve already answered countless times.”
One of my fellow presenters articulated how the all-too-common problem of lack of collaboration increases the overall cost of care. He discussed diabetes care saying pharmacies, payers, providers and health systems all have different ways of managing diabetes, which they do in silos that drive up the cost of care.
The absence of collaboration and coordination also can adversely impact the patient.
Imagine your physician has just let you know you have diabetes. You may have to take insulin, and undoubtedly you’ll be encouraged to exercise and eat a more nutrient-dense diet. It’s quite possible you already were overwhelmed by the demands of your personal and professional life and now you need to learn to live with a chronic illness, one that if left unmanaged can result in serious health complication including premature death, vision loss, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and amputation of toes, fee or legs.
So when the calls and letters from your pharmacy benefit manager, health plan, health system and hospital start, often with different messages, it’s easy to imagine why patients are not as engaged in their health as we want and need them to be.
Towards the end of our session, one of the panelists posed the question, “How do we work together?” At Geneia, we’ve asked a variation of this foundational question from the beginning. Our version is, “How do put the patient at the center and have everyone around them align and collaborate to improve the patient’s care and experience?”
More than six years after our founding, I can comfortably say our products and services are designed to help health plans, hospitals, healthcare providers and employers easily collaborate and align around shared values and goals that support personalized, patient-centered care and improved health. Central to our mission is helping all of the stakeholders who care about, for example, prediabetic patients like Lucy – that is, her health plan, her physician and care team, the health system her physician is part of, and her employer – collaborate and coordinate her care.
For those of you who haven’t yet met Lucy, allow me to introduce you. She’s the mother of two teenagers. She has a full-time job and is the part-time caregiver for her aging father. She’s also prediabetic, and fortunate to know her diagnosis – 90 percent of prediabetics don’t know they have it. With the help of a diverse care team, she is engaging in her health. She has adopted a healthier lifestyle and is reducing her risk of progressing to diabetes.
Geneia’s Theon® analytics, insights and care management platform makes it easy for her physician, health plan and employer to collaborate and deliver better care to patients like Lucy. Not only are they able to improve their individual effectiveness by using the Theon® platform, they also have real-time insight into how others are working with Lucy. For example, Lucy’s physician and care team use the Theon® solution to monitor her progress on her care plan, including annual measurement of her BMI and nutritional counseling.
From Lucy’s perspective, she has a coordinated team, one comprised of players that each have different, important and complementary roles in helping her improve her health. Her care is personalized and she feels supported to make the lifestyle changes needed to improve her health.