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Personalized Healthcare and Patient Engagement: Improving Patient Outcomes


Personalized Healthcare
Patient Engagement from Wix Photos

As more independent Physicians prioritize the importance of quality measures to the future of their practices, their need for enhanced patient engagement to achieve quality outcomes also increases.

According to a 2019 State of the Independent Practice survey, 62% of respondents agree that non-adherent patients are affecting their quality metrics. However, they are also slower to realize the adoption of technology processes that might improve patient engagement. In contrast, patients were far more accepting of the role of technology in healthcare, with 79% of respondents stating they were more likely to select a provider that allows them to conduct healthcare interactions online or on a mobile device.

Seventy-eight percent of respondents said they want better access to mobile health and telehealth tools. [1]

"When we go into the home, we can spend much more time with the patient than a provider can spend with the patient in the office. Seeing each patient's needs and using our predictive analytics helps us develop a care plan that meets the patient's goals and wishes and puts a family member at ease or a caretaker in comfort. We have multiple touchpoints with social workers and providers going into the home, a nurse calling and following up, or a pharmacist consulting with the team. Then we can coordinate that care with the care managers in the PCP offices or the primary care physicians," she says. [2]

Many high-value health systems have used strategies to increase patient engagement, focusing on their physicians' professional education and development, emphasizing activation through the organizational structure and clinical care pathways with high physician input.

Physician-aligned and physician-activating systems also recognize the financial value of the physician beyond collections and professional fees. This value can be quantified and incentivized through several mechanisms: service-line organizational structure, a physician ownership stake in the enterprise, co-management arrangements, programmatic support, or gainsharing arrangements. Critically, such programs' success, in the long run, must come from valuing health outcomes and high-quality, cost-effective care rather than volume for volume's sake. Successfully judging these outcomes requires compelling data that are obtained, processed, and dispersed in a time-efficient, transparent, and risk-adjusted manner. [3]

Value-based physician reimbursement and independent physicians: reducing administrative burden.

Physician enablement must be robust and cost-effective. Only then can they grow practice revenue by optimizing reimbursements and lowering expenses. Supporting performance in value-based contracts can help reward providers for delivering high-quality care. Similarly, tools to reduce administrative burden may allow physicians to see more patients, increasing fee-for-service revenue. [4]

Doctors want the freedom to care for any patient regardless of their payer. This is especially critical to value-based care. Physicians need to be able to grow their base of patient lives attributed to multiple risk-based reimbursement models in value-based care programs. Therefore, physician enablement organizations should seek to increase access for all patient cohorts.[4]

Management services organizations (MSOs) can also enable physicians by reducing direct costs. These organizations bundle, offload, and support necessary services, such as payer contracting, revenue cycle management, care value reporting, performance management, and more. An MSO's scale and specialization can lead to group purchasing discounts, reducing practice expenses. Reducing administrative work and stabilizing finances can help care teams devote more time, energy, and resources to patients, not paperwork.[4]

Solutions to physician burnout: addressing the root causes.

Physician burnout, the trend of doctors feeling tired and frustrated due to their work, has been a growing issue for several years. According to recent figures from the American Medical Association, almost two-thirds of doctors (63%) are experiencing burnout symptoms. This issue has been building over the past few decades, but we have undoubtedly seen growth, first with the advent of electronic medical records and, more recently, fueled by the pandemic. [5]

Physician burnout is an emerging condition that can adversely affect the performance of modern-day medicine. Its three domains are emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a sense of reduced accomplishment among physicians. This concern impacts not only physicians but the entire healthcare system in general. There is growing awareness regarding the mental health of physicians and the consequences faced by the healthcare system as a result of burnout.

“According to a recent study, more than 50% of physicians reported suffering from at least one burnout symptom.”

In this review article, we aim to identify the causes of burnout, its impact on physicians and hospital management, and interventions to reduce this work-related syndrome. Some contributing factors leading to burnout are poor working conditions with long work shifts, stressful on-call duties, lack of appreciation, and poor social interactions.

Burnout can lead to adverse consequences, such as depression, substance use, and suicidal ideation in physicians and residents. This can result in poor patient care, increasing the length of stay, re-admissions, and significant medical errors.

Due to increased scrutiny of patient and healthcare costs, along with increased lawsuits resulting from substantial medical errors, it is crucial for both the hospital management and physicians to recognize and address burnout among physicians.

Comprehensive professional training such as Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), stress-reducing activities such as mindfulness and group activities, and strict implementation of work-hour limitations recommended by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) for residents are a few methods that may help to manage burnout and increase productivity in hospitals. [6]

Burnout in medicine has become a national epidemic, affecting more than one-third of physicians, yet physicians, departments, and institutions remain ill-equipped to address it. Burnout is a syndrome characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a reduced sense of accomplishment that occurs as a response to one's environment. We have a moral and ethical imperative to address physician burnout, as it has immense implications within healthcare. Solutions have historically focused on changing the individual's behavior. Still, research has demonstrated that long-lasting change is brought about by intervening at the organizational level, requiring leadership to champion these efforts. Departmental and hospital leadership plays a critical role in addressing the drivers of burnout.


 

Citations:

1. What is the state of independent medical practice?https://www.physicianspractice.com/view/what-state-independent-medical-practice Accessed 2023-04-09 2. Christopher Cheney | Health Leaders Media.https://www.healthleadersmedia.com/users/christopher-cheney?webSyncID=d8e8abee-aed6-ae05-c117-aac5a9199362&sessionGUID=7026d873-b139-ac65-8444-437c22323c47&page=31 Accessed 2023-04-09 3. Value-based Healthcare: "Physician Activation": Healthcare Transformation Requires Physician Engagement and Leadership.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7170687/ Accessed 2023-04-09 4. Helping Doctors Help Patients: The 6 Key Points of Physician Enablement.https://www.priviahealth.com/blog/helping-doctors-help-patients-the-6-key-points-of-physician-enablement/ Accessed 2023-04-09 5. Solving physician burnout through patient engagement.https://www.medicaleconomics.com/view/solving-physician-burnout-through-patient-engagement Accessed 2023-04-09 6. A Review of Strategies to Manage Physician Burnout.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6682395/ Accessed 2023-04-09 7. Physician Burnout: Solutions for Individuals and Organizations.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7929696/ Accessed 2023-04-09

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