The way people receive healthcare has steadily shifted and continues to evolve as we look toward the future. Technological innovation combined with a culture driven by instant gratification has created an expectation for healthcare providers to deliver patient-centered care, comprehensive treatment solutions and connectivity.
This personalized care model is defining the direction of Ascension’s care delivery strategy and transforming the healthcare industry.
How do we define patient-centered care? The Patient Research Exchange explains it as a medical approach based on the needs, preferences and values of each individual. This shift in care philosophy requires our providers and delivery systems to ensure that all patients feel understood and have a seamless experience from the beginning to end of their interaction.
In order to preserve the health of individuals in our communities, we must listen to them at every point in their journey. We strive to ensure that those we serve understand their treatments and have confidence that the full picture of their health is always considered.
We are responsible for fitting together the pieces of the puzzle for all patients, to understand their personal risk for disease and health history—at every single encounter. We’ve empowered our physicians with tools to understand this strategy, and we continually seek feedback from our patients around their needs.
By improving the physician-patient relationship, our hope is that the positive experience will motivate individuals to come through our doors before they have an illness as together we reimagine health with a focus on prevention and wellness. As part of Ascension, our leaders continue to improve our clinical delivery model with preventive healthcare and patient connectivity top of mind.
We understand that providers must continue to engage their patients at each interaction in order to understand their full health picture and keep individuals invested in preventive health measures. As we work to best understand the people who come to us in time of need, Ascension’s sites of care maintain a comprehensive, shared record of patient interactions to facilitate collaboration between providers. This reinforces our focus on listening and helps ensure we provide the optimal treatment for each individual.
As Ascension and the nation prepare for the shift from a fee-for-service to a fee-for-value healthcare system, it is even more crucial to provide the right care at the right place and the right time to persons we serve, which will result in more efficient treatment and fewer side effects and complications.
This transformation of care delivery improves the quality of care, which in turn decreases cost for payers, patients and the health system. If we create the healthcare journey based on the perspective of those we serve, we are able to develop solutions that make the experience more accessible, comprehensive and affordable.
Karen Springer is CEO of Saint Thomas Health and Ascension Tennessee Market Executive.