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Transforming healthcare

: The imperative of patient centricity

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Kim Garriott
Kim Garriott

For years, the concept of patient centricity has been focused on healthcare providers. Although at first patient-centric was more of a buzz phrase than a practice, there is now a fundamental movement to actively change the way we think about patients and how to involve them in their care. This change is taking place not only in provider medicine, but across the entire healthcare ecosystem, encompassing pharmaceutical R&D and insurance payers. Putting the patient at the center of care and decision making underscores the importance of personalized medicine, improved treatment outcomes, and the consumer experience. This blog explores why patient centricity is crucial across the healthcare landscape, and the importance of data management in achieving its valuable outcomes.

Patient centricity: A game changer for healthcare providers

Individual providers, hospitals, and clinics recognize the significance of placing patients at the center of their care delivery strategies. Better understanding patients’ unique needs, preferences, and circumstances enables a collaborative approach to treatment, enhancing the overall experience, improving patient compliance with treatment protocols, and achieving better care outcomes.

This patient-centric approach—and its improved patient engagement and satisfaction—can have a positive impact on provider credibility and help to increase market share. Satisfied patients are more likely to comply with treatment plans, attend follow-up appointments, and actively participate in their own care. Moreover, focusing on patient needs and incorporating new technologies, such as genomics medicine, allows providers to tailor services, resulting in more effective and personalized treatment plans. One such program is Geisinger Health System’s MyCode Community Health Initiative, which combines genomic data with electronic health records to drive personalized medicine and improve patient outcomes. The initiative aims to identify genetic markers associated with diseases and use this information to guide preventive measures and treatment decisions.

Pharmaceutical companies and patient-centric drug development

Historically, approaches to drug development have been centered around disease-focused research, but now there is a growing appreciation of the importance of incorporating the patient’s experience. Spurred by the 2012 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Patient Focused Drug Development (PFDD) initiative, pharmaceutical companies are leaning in to patient perspectives and experiences, and incorporating them into drug development and evaluation. This understanding contributes to the development of more effective and tolerable medications, and it also incorporates patient-reported outcomes during clinical trials. 

A 2022 article published in the Journal of Managed Care + Specialty Pharmacy states that “medication nonadherence in the United States contributes to 125,000 deaths and 10% of hospitalizations annually.” Pharmaceutical companies like AstraZeneca and Pfizer recognize that a patient-centered approach to drug development can drive increased drug adherence and therefore improved outcomes. These companies offer patient support programs that assist patients with acute and chronic diseases in managing their conditions. These programs can provide patients with personalized support, education, and resources, including medication adherence reminders, lifestyle advice, and access to healthcare professionals for guidance and support.  

Health insurance payers: A focus on member experience

Providers and pharmaceutical companies are joined by healthcare insurance payers in the movement toward a patient-centric mindset. Payers are now placing strong emphasis on the consumer experience, and for good reason. A recent PYMTS survey found that four in five consumers are interested in using a unified digital platform to manage information about their care and insurance benefits. The same survey found that half of consumers have experienced problems accessing health insurance services.

Creating a next-generation digital front door, one that allows members to easily find, access, and navigate services, is key for membership retention and growth. One example of this approach is the Anthem Care Comparison program, which offers online tools and resources to help members compare healthcare providers based on quality, cost, and patient reviews. The program empowers members to make informed decisions about their healthcare providers and treatments.

Payers that prioritize member engagement and satisfaction are more likely to retain and increase membership in a highly competitive market. Additionally, adopting a patient-centric approach can enhance the efficiency of claims processing, reduce administrative overhead, and improve communication with healthcare providers.

The role of data management in patient-centric healthcare

Effective data management is at the heart of patient centricity. Securely accessing the complex patient data estate and intelligently flowing information across the healthcare ecosystem is crucial for delivering personalized medicine and coordinated care.

The provider data contained in electronic health records, medical imaging systems, and other patient data systems facilitates informed decision making and enhances continuity of care.

In drug development, research data is commonly managed in multiple, disparate silos, often in different parts of the world. Efficient access to this data is instrumental in analyzing patient data from clinical trials because this information is crucial for understanding the safety, efficacy, and real-world impact of medications.

For payers, effective use of data enables a digital front door that allows members to easily navigate services and information while also enabling the efficient processing of claims, the identification of at-risk populations, and the development and use of targeted interventions to improve health outcomes.

NetApp: Empowering patient-centric transformation

To implement patient-centric care, organizations must have reliable and secure data management solutions. NetApp provides an intelligent data infrastructure for storing, managing, and analyzing healthcare data. Recognized as a global leader in data management solutions and cloud services, NetApp plays a pivotal role in empowering the healthcare ecosystem on its journey to patient centricity. 

Trusted by thousands of healthcare organizations around the globe, NetApp’s commitment to cybersecurity and data protection means with the strictest regulatory requirements. As the first storage provider to achieve the Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) validation by the U.S. National Security Agency, NetApp® solutions are proven to meet the rigorous standards for protecting classified data and patient data alike. See the complete list of recent certifications and compliance statements, including GDPR and HIPAA, in the NetApp Trust Center Library.  

Whether on premises, in the cloud, or part of a hybrid environment, NetApp’s scalable solutions enable organizations to quickly adapt to the evolving landscape of patient-centric care. 

Patient centricity is a transformative movement that is redefining the healthcare and life sciences industries. From providers delivering personalized care, to pharmaceutical companies incorporating patient feedback into drug development, to payers aligning incentives with patient accountability for well-being, the shift toward patient centricity is evident. Effective data management is paramount, and NetApp solutions for healthcare and life sciences empower organizations to accelerate the full potential of patient-centric care and ultimately to improve the lives of those they serve. 

Kim Garriott

Kim has a passion to improve healthcare through digital transformation. As general manager, NetApp Global Healthcare & Life Sciences, Kim works with public cloud providers, software vendors, and customers to develop novel data management solutions and go-to-market strategies for healthcare. Before joining NetApp, Kim served as a data executive leading the development of a first-of-its-kind data-sharing platform across the 29 offices and agencies of U.S. Health and Human Services. She also led the development of innovative clinical IT programs at the Cleveland Clinic and University of California Health. Kim has been named one of HIMSS’s Most Influential Women in Health IT.

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