SAN FRANCISCO--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The transformation of the American health care system will require faster adoption of appropriate technology, as well as changes in the way that the system is structured, according to Robert Pearl, M.D., who spoke at the Splash Health, Wellness and Wearables conference last month in San Francisco.
“The American health care system is rapidly walking towards a cliff, and if something is not done to transform it, to innovate, to apply technology, we will step off that cliff”
“The American health care system is rapidly walking towards a cliff, and if something is not done to transform it, to innovate, to apply technology, we will step off that cliff,” said Pearl, Chairman of the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP), a coalition of America’s high-performing medical groups and health systems, and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group and president and CEO of the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group.
“With health care comprising 18 percent of U.S. Gross Domestic Product in a $3 trillion market, we need to use technology to streamline, simplify, and solve health care problems in America. We have to be high tech and high touch to provide better patient outcomes,” Pearl said. “I believe that we must change the way we fundamentally structure technologically supported care. We have to be thinking: ‘What is the problem we are trying to solve, and what technology can be used to fix it?’ More often than not, a current technology that already exists is all we need.”
In his remarks, Pearl referenced the power of technology as key to supporting physicians in their treatment and care of patients, noting that many physician diagnoses and treatments could be done through video technology and other digital platforms, providing higher patient satisfaction, better access, excellent quality, and more opportunities for coordinated and integrated care.
Dr. Pearl addressed the conference on the topic: “The Future of Care: What Will Work and What Won't?” His remarks focused on three aspects of innovation critical to the health care dialogue:
- Beware of health care technology that "glitters" but fails to deliver the value – in other words, "fool's gold.”
The three technologies that do have the potential to transform
American health care:
- Video and digital photography, enabling physicians to diagnose patients remotely and secure appropriate care immediately.
- Data analytics to identify groups of patients and individuals who are at risk for specific conditions, or who require additional care.
- Use of the electronic health record not just as a repository of data, but as a communication tool between health care providers.
Other foundational pillars that need to facilitate innovation in
- Clinical integration, both horizontally within specialties and vertically across primary, specialty, and diagnostic care.
- Prepayment of medical services, moving away from fee-for-service toward paying for value and superior outcomes.
- Physician/clinician leadership to guide appropriate innovation, which will require greater training and development of clinicians.
“Technologists understand the opportunities that exist to make health care better and are developing platforms and applications to disrupt traditional care models. CAPP and its 28 medical groups applaud these advancements, many of which are available to patients in CAPP groups today,” Pearl said.
Dr. Pearl is the author of Mistreated: Why We Think We’re Getting Good Health Care—And Why We’re Usually Wrong, published by Public Affairs, a division of Hachette Book Group. The book will be available May 2, 2017. For more information, please visit his website: http://robertpearlmd.com/.
To learn more about physician leadership in the work to achieve accountable care, and to receive updates on key health care issues, follow CAPP on Twitter at: @accountableDOCS.
About the Council of Accountable Physician Practices:
The Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP), an affiliate of the AMGA Foundation, is a coalition of visionary medical group and health system leaders. We believe that physicians working together, backed by integrated services, systems and data and technology, can best shape and guide the way care is delivered so that the welfare of the patient is always the primary focus. For more information, contact CAPP at Accountablecaredoctors.org.