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How unified personalized care transforms patient treatment

By Neil Jordan, General Manager of Health Worldwide, Microsoft on July 12, 2018

Filed under Health

doctor and patient

According to 79% of healthcare executives, one of the biggest barriers to better use of patient data is the lack of interoperability between disconnected technology solutions.1 Meanwhile, over the past decade, mounting healthcare costs have created pressure on healthcare organizations to leverage patient data to improve outcomes and reduce costs. To adapt in this volatile environment, healthcare organizations have been forced to fundamentally rethink how they run their businesses, bringing a critical eye to everything from payment models to care delivery and beyond.

As part of this effort, healthcare organizations are looking to leverage new technologies. The past few years have seen significant advances in technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and the internet of things (IoT)—which promise to transform healthcare delivery and improve outcomes. While healthcare organizations are interested in adopting new technologies, many are unclear where to start. As a result, they end up trying solutions in a piecemeal way that doesn’t resolve existing data flow issues and makes it difficult to prove value.

To enable interoperability, growth, and lasting results, healthcare organizations must stop implementing siloed technology solutions and instead build a sustainable, integrated plan. Analysts at McKinsey rate this as one of the most important steps in preparing for a digital future, advising healthcare organizations to “use a comprehensive, integrated approach, not piecemeal initiatives,” to develop a long-term technology strategy.2

Step 1: Create a unified personalized care strategy

For providers today, personalized care provides a useful framework to unify disparate technology initiatives towards improving outcomes. Personalized care is a transformational approach to connecting patient data and processes across the care continuum. It enables providers to leverage data from EHRs and other critical sources to create a streamlined care model that combines genomics, clinical analytics, care coordination, care team collaboration, and patient engagement to provide patients with a seamless, tailored care experience.

This new way of thinking about patient care represents a paradigm shift from today’s reactive, disconnected approach. 

Today, care doesn’t begin until the patient first starts feeling symptoms. Only then will the patient reach out to their care provider, who then must deliver a diagnosis and treatment plan based on limited records and information from the patient. With little to no engagement between in-person visits to ensure ongoing patient compliance and confirm treatment efficacy, the cycle restarts itself. This system is frustrating for patients and caregivers alike—patients must go through redundant steps with multiple caregivers to receive effective treatment, and caregivers must react quickly, with limited insights from patient data, to provide a diagnosis and prescribe a treatment.

Personalized care, on the other hand, enables providers to leverage data to make intelligent treatment decisions, eliminate gaps in health team collaboration and communication, and maintain ongoing connections with patients beyond the clinical setting. Together, these capabilities are a powerful force with the potential to improve and accelerate outcomes, as well as eliminate unnecessary ER visits and readmissions.

Step 2: Deliver a personalized patient experience with the right care at the right time

graphic of testing blood sugarLet’s consider how a unified personalized care approach transforms the treatment of a typical type 2 diabetes patient.

Ty Welker manages his diabetes by tracking his blood sugar using a wearable continuous glucose monitor that transmits data to an app connected to his electronic health record. When his blood sugar is rising, he doesn’t have to wait to experience symptoms to find out. The app sends an automatic alert to his doctor before his blood sugar reaches critical levels.graphic of doctors office reading blood levels

 

When Ty’s nurse views the alert, she’s taken to a clinical analytics dashboard and sees that Ty is at low risk for critical hyperglycemia and that he does not need to be seen right away as long as he sticks to the diet restrictions they have discussed in the past. 

 

Health team of consultants

 

Members of Ty’s care team share ideas and best practices with each other through a compliant and secure cloud-based communication and collaboration app that’s accessible across devices. A nurse who works with diabetic patients like Ty notes that she has found that patients who are prescribed exercise as part of their care plans have a lower rate of hyperglycemia. Her colleagues agree that this should be added to their standard protocol for treating diabetic patients. 

 

graphic of doctors office with app

The next week, when Ty goes to his doctor for a checkup, his doctor consults Ty’s genome report to determine alternate treatment options. He determines that the medication Ty is currently taking is the only one recommended based on his genome. 

Equipped with knowledge from his colleagues, Ty’s doctor recommends that Ty should try a higher dose of his medication in combination with regular exercise. Ty agrees, and his doctor modifies his care plan to ensure that Ty’s full care team has the most up-to-date information. Care Plan app on tablet

 

A few days later, Ty’s nurse reviews his care plan and sees it’s time to send him an exercise reminder. Ty receives a message on his phone that reminds him to meet today’s exercise goal.

Doctors office using health care app graphicIn this example, it’s easy to see how a personalized approach to Ty’s care enabled his team to treat him more effectively. By receiving the right care at the right time, Ty is more likely to adhere to his plan and maintain engagement, reducing the risk of complications or hospital admission. 

  

Step 3: Bring in a proven solution with Microsoft and its partners

Only Microsoft provides a comprehensive, integrated, and personalized care approach, enabling providers to focus on improving outcomes without worrying about whether their technology will deliver the support they need. Microsoft solutions are open and extensible, enabling organizations to easily, efficiently, and cost-effectively integrate existing devices and systems. They also empower providers to seamlessly scale their capabilities quickly with cloud solutions.

Personalized Care is a suite of SaaS apps from Microsoft and industry-leading partners that employs artificial intelligence across the care continuum to increase automation and efficiency. It enhances the value of existing EHR investments by using intelligent, EHR-friendly solutions. It’s also flexible and highly secure, with a flexible infrastructure that supports your regulatory and compliance needs.

Learn more about Personalized Care from Microsoft and check out the demo.

To explore the SaaS solutions, visit AppSource:


[1] NEJM Catalyst

[2] McKinsey

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