The High Cost of the Sweet Life

As we move toward digital health and digital payments, the relationships between spending, environment, and other health determinants are becoming clearer, including the choices we make at any moment. Things that influence behavioral choices are often the social determinants of health, the cultural and economic contexts (including geography) of our day-to-day decisions.

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Global Center for Health Innovation Cleveland

HIMSS Rocks the Global Center for Health Innovation

The Global Center for Health Innovation opened for business last October in Cleveland, Ohio, but will officially open to the general public this October. The futuristic glass structure, designed by LMN Architects of Seattle, comprises four floors and 235,000 square feet of space. The Global Center is adjacent to Cleveland’s new underground Convention Center, also designed by LMN. Jointly, they hope to attract more healthcare-themed conferences and exhibits to Cleveland.

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Looking Through the Google Glass

I’m impressed by the number of big-name health systems that are giving Google Glass a test drive. It’s also interesting to note the diversity of applications, from telehealth, education, remote consults, and EMR access. By the time HIMSS15 rolls around next April I am sure we’ll have a clearer idea of which vendors have figured out the formula for success. But please… don’t be a Glasshole!

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Note to Developers: Quit Ignoring the Patients

The problem with mammograms, EMRs, patient portals, and other healthcare technologies is that too often the developers seem to have forgotten the patient experience. Case in point: EMRs. Having all of a patient’s visit record online is a tremendous benefit. Frequently, however, the EMR interferes with the patient exam because the physician seems to be paying more attention to finding the right drop down item than to the actual patient. Especially if I am sick, I want my doctor’s full attention and assurance that he/she is engaged and invested in my care.

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Will Satisfaction Survey Fatigue Impact Provider Compensation?

According to The Medical Group Management Association, about three percent of primary care physician pay and 2.31 percent of specialty physician was tied to patient satisfaction in 2013. That’s a relatively small portion but as provider compensation continues to shift from fee-for-service to reimbursement models based on outcomes, patient satisfaction will no doubt factor more heavily. As more providers jump onto the patient satisfaction survey bandwagon, satisfaction survey fatigue may rise to an all-time high. The exception, of course, will be unhappy patients, since disgruntled consumers tend make time to voice their complaints.

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The Difference Between Patient-Centered Care and Patient Satisfaction

If you must pick one area to focus on, focus on patient-centered care over patient satisfaction. Perhaps it’s because I have always worked in the clinical setting that I believe good clinical care can trump, or at least balance, parts of an experience that are less satisfying. Healthy patients equal happy patients and I feel they, like me, would be more willing to compartmentalize different aspects of the care experience. Because they are treated like individuals and listened to by their clinicians, they’ll be less likely to give an overall poor satisfaction score if something, like scheduling, goes amiss. And let’s not forget that despite how health care has changed over the years, good health outcomes are really what it is all about.

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