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Why partnerships are key to driving healthcare forward

Brent Shafer, CEO Philips North America

Written by: Brent Shafer

It’s no secret that our healthcare system is up against enormous challenges, such as aging populations and growing chronic and lifestyle-related diseases, while providers struggle to increase access and quality of care. However, a brighter future is at hand with a more seamless, collaborative approach by hospitals and health technology companies that put patient care as the focus. As connected technologies continue to disrupt and transform the healthcare industry for the better, healthcare leaders must bridge the gap between bringing innovations forward that can change patient care and driving actual integration into health systems. In fact, this year’s Philips Future Health Index (FHI) data revealed that both healthcare providers (86%) and consumers (61%) believe a more integrated healthcare system would improve the quality of healthcare in the United States.

Without better integration, global access to quality healthcare will continue to decline. If broadly adopted, however, connected technologies have tremendous potential to provide solutions to the resource shortages confronting healthcare in many countries. We will be better able to track and manage the health of populations both inside and outside hospital walls, while simultaneously decreasing unacceptably long wait times, rising cost and severe staff shortages.

The future healthcare burden will continue to be heavy—global healthcare spending is expected to more than double between 2013 and 2040 to over $18 trillion, and the World Economic Forum has estimated that chronic diseases will result in $47 trillion in lost output by 2030. This means the healthcare industry needs a new normal. We need to focus on breaking down the boundaries standing in the way of organizing healthcare around the patient by forming long-term, deep strategic partnerships to co-design innovations that seamlessly bring together people, data and technology for global change.

Partnering for Better Healthcare

By teaming up with likeminded industry professionals around the world—including researchers, clinicians, health tech innovators and consumers—we can illuminate the full picture of the healthcare ecosystem to achieve increased patient and staff satisfaction, lower costs and better patient outcomes.

Through this kind of open collaboration and academic conversation, we will be able to achieve the collective goal of the healthcare industry: bringing seamless care to the populations that need it most. While many providers may not be completely comfortable with this new, integrated model, those that are embracing it are leading the way by example.

The patient experience is already beginning to improve through the combination of connected technologies, and the shift to deliver healthcare in a framework of shared accountability with co-created integrated solutions and services. But more can be done. As the industry transitions to value-based care, vendors and providers alike must take responsibility for empowering health systems to implement connected, data-driven technology that achieves the Quadruple Aim of dramatically improved:

  • Patient experience – Providing evidence-based care to ease the patient’s journey through the healthcare system.
  • Patient outcomes – Delivering a first-time-right diagnosis and minimally invasive, personalized care through quality turnkey solutions and services when and where clinicians need them most.
  • Cost of care – Adopting connected technologies to reduce readmissions among high-acuity patients, lowering operational costs.
  • Clinician experience – Addressing widespread burnout and dissatisfaction to improve subsequently poor patient satisfaction and outcomes, as well as increased operational costs.

Making Long-Term, Strategic Partnerships Work

These cross-organizational relationships aim to simplify technology adoption and, ultimately, meet current global population health management demands. Because together, through long-term, strategic partnerships, the healthcare industry can and will successfully implement seamless care.

Earlier this year, Philips established a partnership with Banner Health System. With the above goals in mind, we are working in tandem to improve Banner’s connected care capabilities, helping them deliver higher-quality care while managing costs, complexity and risk. On the pursuit of finding a way to make patient’s the center of care, Philips and Banner Health System have created a governance structure that acts as one seamless ecosystem with fewer boundaries and silos.

Banner Health System’s clinical transformation takes a fully integrated, end-to-end approach in imaging, patient monitoring and telehealth to enhance care across the health continuum. By connecting the highly skilled healthcare professionals at Banner with Philips’ integrated health technology, we are working toward eliminating the barriers that stand in the way of seamless care.

The Philips-Banner partnership builds on a recently successful pilot study that demonstrated how telehealth solutions can support connected health initiatives and meet global healthcare challenges. From the pilot study alone, Banner Health Systems was able to reduce hospital admissions by nearly 50 percent, reduce overall cost of care by more than 30 percent and reduce the number of days patients needed to stay in the hospital by 50 percent, enhancing both the patient and the clinician experience.

Uniting for Seamless Care

With health technology providers and healthcare professionals striving to achieve the same goals—seamless care through connected technology—health systems will be empowered with access to meaningful innovation, deeper clinical expertise and data analytics for personalized, actionable patient care insights. Health systems must find a partner who will work side-by-side with them to cut through the complexities in healthcare, improving productivity by creating a more collaborative environment. This enterprise partnership model creates a different reality—a business model of innovation with the potential to dramatically change the delivery of healthcare in the U.S. and around the world.

As we look to the future of value-based care and assess the complexity of connected care technology implementation and adoption, long-term, strategic partnerships will be more vital than ever to effectively and efficiently achieve seamless care.

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