When it comes to their healthcare, what matters most to people is being “heard, understood, and given clear directions through a personalized healthcare experience,” according to a Deloitte study on the priorities of healthcare consumers.¹ The study also found that healthcare consumers believe this personalized experience should be delivered through interactions with their providers.
“Providers are best positioned to deliver on these desires, and interactions that fit into this cluster ranked almost three times higher than any other type of interaction in the study.”
And the feeling is mutual. Not only do patients value their relationships with their doctors, but “doctors also ascribe great value to relationships,” write Erin Sullivan, research director, and Andy Ellner, MD., co-director, of Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care, in “ Strong Patient-Provider Relationships Drive Healthier Outcomes. " They go on to cite a few examples of innovative primary care organizations that are demonstrating how building relationships at the individual patient level can make a positive impact on health and financial outcomes.²
Building the provider-patient relationship is difficult, though, within the constraints of the traditional healthcare system. Only 11% of doctors say they spend 25 minutes or more with each patient, for instance, while nearly 60% of doctors say they spend between 13 and 24 minutes with each patient.³ This makes it challenging for doctors to address the context in which someone lives - context that is critical to a person's health. In fact, physicians take contextual issues into account less than 60% of the time, according to research conducted at the Institute for Practice and Provider Performance Improvement.
What if it were possible to look outside of the walls of healthcare to build a long-term, trusted relationship with each individual - even before they are sick and needing care? What if we could help each person be heard and understood in the full context of their life - and then share that valuable insight with their providers and caregivers across the entire care continuum? What if a trusted health advisor could help people get the most out of their provider visits by knowing the right questions to ask and concerns to raise? And what if that trusted health advisor - supported by an independent clinical team, data and intelligent technology - could remove barriers to care, connect people to community resources, and help people comply with their care and treatment plans?
It's happening today as employers like AmeriGas, the nation's largest distributor of propane, adopt a new approach to health and benefits for their employees and their families. The result? Deeply personalized healthcare support, highly satisfied employees and improved health outcomes -- even, sometimes, a life saved.
¹ Read, L., and Kaye, M., Deloitte's 2016 Consumer Priorities in Health Care Survey, retrieved from https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/life-sciences-and-health-care/articles/healthcare-consumer-experience-survey.html
² Sullivan, E. and Ellner, A., Strong Patient-Provider Relationships Drive Healthier Outcomes, Harvard Business Review, retrieved from https://hbr.org/2015/10/strong-patient-provider-relationships-drive-healthier-outcomes
³ Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2017, retrieved from: https://www.medscape.com/slideshow/compensation-2017-overview-6008547
4 Weiner, SJ., Schwartz A., Sharma G., Patient-Centered Decision Making and Health Care Outcomes: An Observational Study, Annals of Internal Medicine, 2013:158:573-579.