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The Roadmap to an Ecosystem of Holistic Patient Health

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Ivy Lai
Dec 02, 2020 - reading time 5 mins

By Ashwin Chari

Country Manager, Philips Philippines

 

Ashwin Chari is the Country Manager of Philips Philippines. He is also responsible for formulating and implementing strategic plans that contribute towards improving health and wellness through Philips’ meaningful innovation across the ASEAN Pacific region. Ashwin brings over 18 years of experience in the Technology and Telecommunications industry across Asia Pacific and Europe.

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With the enactment of the UHC bill in the Philippines, priority has been on increasing access to quality care and enhancing the local healthcare infrastructure with innovative health solutions. With healthcare infrastructure at its peak capacity, this calls for greater adoption of digital solutions that enable efficiency and a more integrated, holistic approach towards patient care – bringing together systems, clinicians and patients to advance the country’s UHC goal to provide healthcare access for all.
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Since the enactment of the Universal Healthcare (UHC) bill in 2019, which gives all Filipino citizens access to the full continuum of health services1, priority has been on increasing accessibility to quality care and enhancing local healthcare infrastructure.

 

These efforts have only been accelerated with the onset of COVID-19. Healthcare providers around the world are seeing the rise of innovative health solutions, such as telehealth and other digital health services, which bridge hurdles of access and facilitate care – from diagnosis to treatment and recovery.

 

With the increased demand putting stress on healthcare infrastructures, healthcare professionals (HCPs), now more than ever, need technological solutions that will increase efficiency. These solutions need to address hurdles such as paper-based, fragmented patient data in siloed systems that hinder progress along the care continuum.

 

Key to addressing these is ensuring continuity and more seamless data flow for HCPs, and better oversight of patients’ condition across all stages of treatment with connected care technologies. The benefits of having improved oversight over the patients they treat are clear – according to Philips’ Future Health Index (FHI) 2019 report, 57% of HCPs indicate a clear benefit and more positive experiences from having access to patients’ full medical history.

Elevating patient outcomes calls for a swift, integrated approach

 

Even as healthcare organizations continue to digitalize, challenges remain in integrating new solutions, patient data and workflows across the entire organization. Evolving into a fully connected, clinically integrated healthcare organization will require patient-centric solutions that help remove barriers of access.

 

The rise of electronic patient records, which is enabling much-needed data and insights to measure the quality and outcome of care, is driving this transformation. With the needs of patients quickly evolving, it’s crucial to connect systems, devices and HCPs across the health continuum to share such information easily and securely, allowing for higher quality of care at lower cost for more patients.

 

According to Philips’ FHI 2019 study, the lack of interoperability of records systems also hinders sharing of patient information inside and outside health facilities, which prevents HCPs from understanding their patient’s full conditions and having a holistic view of their health. Tackling this requires better integration of solutions that connect patients, technology and data to support clinical decisions at the point of care. This improves both the patient and healthcare professional experience while optimizing care delivery with integrated care pathways.

 

By adopting a unified approach and integrated solutions that connect key touchpoints of a patient’s journey, HCPs can ensure holistic patient health – even after they are discharged from the hospital.

 

Understanding the shift in roles that comes with Connected Care

 

In moving towards a connected model of care, HCPs will need to be equipped to better integrate data and technology into their work to elevate delivery of care. Rather than replacing traditional roles, technologies that connect healthcare processes and data will require HCPs to evolve their practices for more seamless, digitalized workflows.

 

Take radiology, for example. Artificial intelligence (AI) can be an invaluable aid in supporting diagnostic scans and helping physicians make more precise and quicker diagnoses. AI can also take on repetitive, manual tasks, allowing radiologists to perform higher-value tasks. When combined with clinical informatics, AI can be used effectively to structure healthcare data across multiple sources. Better medical data visualization provides contextualizing of data across the healthcare continuum for improved clinical decision-making.

 

Our biggest challenges, from managing aging populations to providing care at home for patients with chronic conditions, call for swifter adoption of digital healthcare solutions. Technologies that connect systems, clinicians, and patients with right information play an integral role in realizing this outcome. However, there is a simultaneous need to provide our healthcare professionals with the right training so that they can leverage these technologies across the healthcare continuum and draw useful insights to enhance their delivery of care.

 

These are crucial steps to achieve an integrated approach to holistic patient health and unlock better patient outcomes. To improve healthcare outcomes and transform patient experience for the future, healthcare systems must evolve. The need for change has never been more urgent – it must begin now.

 

1 https://www.who.int/philippines/news/feature-stories/detail/uhc-act-in-the-philippines-a-new-dawn-for-health-care

About Future Health Index

The Future Health Index (FHI) is a research-based platform designed to help determine the readiness of countries to address global health challenges and build sustainable, fit-for-purpose national health systems.

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