Transforming Healthcare – Physician Centric, Treatment Centric OR Patient Centric?

The healthcare industry is undergoing a fundamental transformation globally, from being a volume-based industry to becoming value-based service providers. While the number of hospital admissions is rising globally, healthcare infrastructure is not growing at a similar pace, which has added to the burden on healthcare systems. In a situation like this, the healthcare service needs fundamental change on several fronts.

Healthcare approach is one such major area of change. Growing demands from consumers are forcing healthcare providers to deliver optimised outcomes. Standardising best practices is an important part of delivering effective, safe, and affordable care, and has numerous benefits like consistent outcomes, reduced costs, labor savings and more. Having said that, the standardised care should not be a norm. Healthcare providers are starting to move away from a standardised “one-size-fits-all” model to a customised model.

Personalisation improves the patient experience and increases patient engagement, eliminating unnecessary work for physicians and give them more time to spend with patients. In today’s healthcare environment, physicians need to personalise care and motivate patients to become active participants in their health journeys. The personalised medicines’ share of new drugs approved by the FDA, US has increased from 21.9% in the year 2014 to 28.8% in 2015.

Take Pharmacogenetics, as an example of customised care. Pharmacogenetics is available now to help doctors decide which medication and dose would work best for patients based on their DNA, and to avoid potential side effects in some cases.

Readily available Healthcare Information Flow is one of the key elements to improve the delivery of health care. In present context, most healthcare providers are still focusing only on data collection and the information flow is carried out in a one- way communication channel. Information flows are very different from data flows. Large amounts of the data, information, knowledge and even wisdom, in many cases, cannot be held in IT-systems. The idea is to understand the fact that technology itself cannot cover the entirety of information/knowledge flow and that human elements, knowledge and experience equally contribute in the process.

The future outlook in the information flow within the healthcare system emphasises on sharing of information sources among care teams, patients and families, enabling a better clinical decision-making and improved patient health. Also, the information flow between the payers, manufacturers and other stake holders is going to be a two-way integrated mode.

The improved health of an individual and the hospital experience can be measured and the outcomes can be used to establish standards against which to improve continuously in all aspects of healthcare. Clinical outcomes are, commonly agreed, measurable changes in health or quality of life that result from care. Every hospital should follow updates on every patient it treats, long enough to determine whether or not the treatment has been successful, and then to inquire, “If not, why not?” with a view to preventing similar failures in the future.

The good news is that the healthcare market is gradually shifting from a physician-centric model to patient-centric. This model will focus on the individual health and population health. Its topmost priority is to improve the clinical outcomes based on the past years and gain popularity regarding future endeavor.

The Treatment Focus areas have, almost every time, been focusing on treating illness and provide better health. Although scientific advances have achieved remarkable outputs in medical treatments, there are still many incurable diseases that affect millions worldwide. The future outlook focuses on not only on the reactive care, but also on proactive care, with prevention and wellness gaining importance. As a result, treatment options will move to a more collaborative and shared model.

The future of treatment for many of today’s diseases lies in uncovering mechanisms that are still to be discovered. The best way to help patients is to focus on breakthrough science to discover these mechanisms and develop targeted therapies that interact with them. The healthcare focus targets shifting from the sick patients to include the affected, prone, and even the healthy, believing that prevention is better than cure.

Global Reimbursement regulations are seeing a shift from episodic payments to outcome-based ones. In the current ‘fee-for-service’ model of reimbursing providers for health care, physicians and organisations have incentives on the way they bill. The more tests they order, patients they see, procedures they do, the more money they will make.

The switch to value-based reimbursements changed the traditional model of health care reimbursements, causing the providers to change the way they bill for care. Instead of being paid by the number of visits and tests they order (fee-for-service), providers’ payments are now based on the value of care they deliver (value-based care).

Much of this change is long overdue because it’s driving improvements to the delivery of care by providing better care at a lower cost. But for providers and health systems who can’t achieve the required targets, the lower reimbursements create a serious financial burden.

Future case scenarios in many nations seem to be inclined towards the value-based care that are more closely related to outcomes. Japan’s 2035 vision outlines plans to implement value-based care to promote quality and value of health care services. Europe may also see the implementation of an extensive and standardised approach for the improved adoption of value-based care.

As these trends unfold, healthcare is likely to experience revolutionary change. Healthcare industry will experience significant disruptive changes leading to a healthcare revolution in medical treatment services. In the near future, the delivery of healthcare may become admirably efficient in the way we organise and maintain healthcare records and payments, educate our clinicians, manage patient care, and monitor our own personal health. After all, achieving good patient health outcomes is the fundamental purpose of health care.


Sudeshna Nepal is a researcher with Frost & Sullivan. She can be reached at sudeshna.nepal@frost.com


Sapan Agarwal drives content and marketing for Frost & Sullivan. Sapan is based out of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and can be reached at sapan.agarwal@frost.com | +603 6204 5830

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