04/23/2015

Interoperability falls flat


by Harry Greenspun, M.D., Director, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Deloitte LLP

Prior to flying to Chicago for the annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference, I had a lot to do. More than 40,000 health IT professionals, vendors, policy makers, investors and other stakeholders gather for educational sessions, speeches, exhibits, interviews and social events. And lots and lots of walking.

Along with preparing my presentations, packing and sorting through various meeting requests, I had one critical priority: band practice. My band is preparing for a large (for us) gig at the end of May for our high school reunion.

As with prior events, we welcome guest performers to sit in with the band and as a result, we’ve had a range of people showing up to practice in my basement. Each comes with a guitar or bass, plugs into one of my amplifiers and we start making music. Given the distinctive sounds of some of the songs, we will often use effects pedals with our guitars to get the right tone. Each pedal contributes to the overall sound, easily swapped depending on who is playing what, simply by re-routing cables. While we may obsess over the sound, the one thing we don’t fret over is the setup. We just plug and play.

A few days later I found myself in Chicago, walking the exhibit halls and touring the Interoperability Showcase, where vendors highlight the flow of information from one application to the next. To the casual observer, one would think that the industry had fully embraced interoperability.

But, the truth is actually more complicated.

Earlier this month, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released a report saying it is “increasingly concerned about” what it views as unreasonable interference and information blocking coming from both vendors and providers. It noted in particular that a few entities had too much control over electronic health information.

The report said that “current economic and market conditions create business incentives” for certain entities to control electronic health information and limit its availability. It pointed to 60 reports of this practice in 2014. Though no specific companies or “bad actors” were named, the report also included several recommendations to increase the exchange of EHR information. The ONC’s recommendations include creating new transparency obligations for developers and new certification requirements that strengthen surveillance of health IT capabilities and pushing for a national governance framework for health IT exchange with clear principles regarding interoperability and information sharing.

How do we reconcile the seemingly contradictory views between the ONC and the broader health IT industry? Health care is evolving quickly, and the requirements many sought when implementing systems have changed dramatically in the last few years. When Meaningful Use (MU) was born out of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act in 2009, users sought systems to help document visits between providers and patients. Accountable care organizations (ACOs) did not exist, and outside of integrated delivery networks, few engaged in alternative payment methods (APM) that focused on value or outcomes. Even some of the MU Stage I requirements, such as the requirement to share data with patients by burning them a CD, appear quite dated now.

With value-based care, new priorities have emerged: data sharing, care coordination, patient engagement, and predictive analytics. In addition, consolidation among providers and overall convergence in the industry has accelerated the need for interoperability, not just for electronic health records (EHRs), but also for medical devices, wearables and more.

Ultimately, the broader question is, “How can systems keep pace amid such rapid change?” ONC has said it will work with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to explore whether creating new conditions of participation in federal health programs is feasible or if a more traditional enforcement agency should take a leading role. The ONC also said in the report that requiring more transparency from developers regarding business practices that could interfere with the exchange or use of electronic health information “would be an effective, market-based approach to preventing many types of information blocking.” In particular, it highlighted enabling customers to access, discuss and share information on vendors.

While there is a role for government to set and enforce rules and point the industry in the right direction, I believe market forces will likely dominate. I can pull any guitar off my wall and plug it into any combination of amplifier and effects to suit my needs. If something does not sound right, I can quickly swap it out. If something goes wrong, I can easily identify and fix malfunctions. Therefore, I don’t buy products that don’t harmonize with the other elements of my system.

Health systems are beginning to shop for technology the same way, both for EHRs and medical devices. The Center for Medical interoperability will assist hospital and health systems as they and broader health care stakeholders advance interoperable practices across the system. With greater needs to connect applications and facilities to meet new payment models and operational challenges, hospitals and health care systems are sending a message to the industry that they intend to buy products that are proven to be interoperable and, in some cases, interchangeable. Industry efforts, such as the CommonWell Health Alliance, which is creating a vendor-neutral platform to advance effective health data exchange, are responding as well.

While I cannot predict how soon health care technology will play well together, the good news is that our band is sounding pretty good. I am also confident that if my friend Pete shows up with his Telecaster, or Dave arrives with his 1949 Gibson J-45, they can join in without missing a beat.

 

Read the entire Health Care Current here and subscribe to receive weekly updates.

 

Harry Greenspun, MD, Senior Advisor, Health Care Transformation and Technology, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Deloitte LLPDr. Greenspun, director with the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Deloitte Services LP,  serves health care, life sciences and government clients on key innovation and clinical transformation issues. He was named one of the “50 Most Influential Physician Executives in Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare, co-authored the book “Reengineering Healthcare” and has served on advisory boards for the World Economic Forum, WellPoint, HIMSS, and Georgetown University. He previously served as the CMO for Dell.

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04/20/2015

From patient to customer: Making patient care more customer-centric


by Dan Housman, Director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, CTO, ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte

The Internet has taught us valuable lessons about what works and what doesn’t in regards to identifying, engaging, and retaining customers.

Retailers are increasingly using sophisticated data aggregation and customer stratification methods to build business and grow revenues. Other industries are also leveraging technological advances to directly improve and enhance customer relationship management (CRM).

The health care industry? Not so much.

For a variety of reasons related to regulatory requirements, competitive pressures, cost considerations and privacy concerns, health care has lagged behind other industries in the development of effective CRM strategies. The industry has been slow to adopt data collection and communication models that promote value-based care and the inclusion of care team members (both clinical and non-clinical).

Since I first entered the health care industry many years ago, I’ve been surprised by the absence of innovative CRM capabilities that are typically commonplace in other industries. The contributing challenges may include:

  • Data fragmentation and the lack of data interoperability: This has made it difficult to collect, centralize, and distribute medical information in a way that can engage the patient more thoroughly.
  • Stakeholder competition: In the provider and health plan sectors, these competitive factors have resulted in a reluctance to both share patient data and collaborate within networks to improve patient outcomes without sufficient financial incentives.

Perhaps these challenges are related to not thinking of patients as customers.

The Affordable Care Act introduced several new changes that accelerate the need to improve outcomes via patient engagement and a customer-focused strategy. These changes include new financing, care model transformations, and value-based structures that leave no doubt – deeper patient engagement is more critical than ever, and developing commercial models to execute this new dynamic is essential.

With the advent of accountable care, provider organizations and integrated health systems may face increasing regulatory and industry requirements to improve clinical outcomes, while simultaneously reducing costs. From a practice standpoint, episodic treatment of symptoms versus the development of long-standing relationships that center on prevention and wellness is akin to missing the forest for the trees.

To build an effective patient relationship management (PRM) model, consider turning back the pages to a commercial generation. The lessons first imparted during the early days of the world-wide web and the development of e-commerce are still instructive and valuable for health care providers, 15+ years after they first began to take hold.

There are a number of strategies organizations can apply to make patient care more customer-centric:

  • Build systems that incorporate e-commerce/CRM tools: Other industries leverage these systems to great advantage. These components could enable patients to have full access to their medical records and subsequently improve their decision-making and management of their health care.
  • Consider utilizing traditional CRM systems: These systems can enable organizations to develop capabilities closer to traditional customer engagement. These systems often contain simple tracking and campaign management methods, the kind patients have perhaps seen with their dentists, but not their primary care physician or specialist.
  • Develop, promote, and utilize available mobile apps: There are tens of thousands of available apps out there that link to medical information, few of which are actually utilized on a regular basis. Health care providers and plan administrators should take advantage of these opportunities to incorporate and leverage patient generated data.
  • Identify, personalize, and utilize the appropriate communication channels to help ensure higher levels of patient engagement: If a patient and provider can accomplish the same outcome or better with text or email as they could in an in-office doctor appointment, then why not leverage the text message? If the goal is to assist a patient with smoking cessation, a text reminder may be more valuable and effective than having the patient schedule an appointment and come in to be given that reminder. The key is to leverage the right communication channel to achieve higher value per interaction.

Think about the conventional office visit. The first 10-15 minutes are usually taken up with questions about the patient’s reason for making the appointment and what’s changed since their last meeting. More direct patient interaction before the visit will likely permit more quality time in-office with the physician. If the future for our industry is to improve patient outcomes, facilitate better access, and reduce costs, patients need to be treated as customers who are willing and able to demonstrate a more active and engaged participation in their personal care.

We have the tools and resources. Now, we need a comprehensive plan, and a genuine commitment.

Hear more from Dan Housman on the topic of patient engagement:

 

To learn more about moving toward customer-centric care, visit the ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte website.

 

Dan Housman, Director and Chief Technology Officer, ConvergeHEALTH By Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Dan Housman is a software veteran with a demonstrated track record of providing valuable and innovative decision support systems to large, complex organizations. Dan leads ConvergeHEALTH’s product innovation efforts with a focus on translational research, bioinformatics and innovative approaches to data capture, analysis, and reporting for clinical quality and performance improvement. Dan earned a BS in Chemistry and Biology from MIT in 1995.

 

The state of interoperability in health care


 by Harry Greenspun, M.D., Director, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Deloitte Services LP 

The interoperability requirements many health care companies sought when implementing health IT systems have changed dramatically in the last few years. With value-based care, new priorities have emerged and industry consolidation has accelerated the need for interoperability, not just for electronic health records, but also for medical devices, wearables and more. Dr. Harry Greenspun discusses how systems can keep pace amid such rapid change.

 

 

 

Dr. Greenspun will be expanding upon these ideas in tomorrow's Health Care Current. Sign up now to receive a copy. 

04/17/2015

Direct from #HIMSS15: Final takeaways: consolidation, population health, and rising consumerism


Deloitte_HIMSS2015

 

 

Mitch Morris, M.D., Vice Chairman, National Health Care Provider Lead, Deloitte LLP, discusses industry consolidation and convergence and the role of enabling technologies.

 

 

Rick Swanson, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, discusses the impact of health IT adoption on population health  management.

 

 

John Keith, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, discusses shifting to a consumer-driven culture of health.

04/16/2015

Navigating the shifting course of value-based care


by Mitch Morris, MD, Vice Chairman and National Health Care Provider Lead, Deloitte LLP

The market shift toward value-based care (VBC) continues to move along with increasing speed in hope that it will bend the curve on cost and improve quality. As is the case for other business transformations, the road to get there will be bumpy and even unpaved in some areas. And, as soon as you get to a comfortable cruising speed, you may have to change your course.

The most recent evidence of this lies in Congress’s efforts to replace the much maligned sustainable growth rate formula (SGR) that constrained Medicare reimbursement rates. For years, lawmakers in both chambers of Congress have grappled with how to replace and pay for the SGR but have failed to pass any meaningful legislation.

Although for a while it seemed this saga would never end, now it seems there is finally a solution to move forward. The bill that passed the House and now sits before the Senate would repeal the old SGR formula and create a steady stream of modest reimbursement increases for the future.

While they are at it, Congress has used this most recent legislation as an opportunity to drive us further down the road to VBC. Today’s system set a total budget cap on Medicare payments for physician services. Tomorrow’s system puts greater weight on performance and encourages physicians to migrate to VBC. It connects incentives with individual physician performance. It also gives more weight to quality and volume control and creates financial incentives for physicians to participate in alternate payment models that incorporate VBC.

The new system also alleviates some of the burden that the myriad incentive programs have placed on physicians to date. All of the existing programs – the electronic health record (EHR) Meaningful Use incentive program, quality reporting program and value-based payment program – would be consolidated into one system.

Navigating the intricacies of these programs has been a challenge for most physicians. Deloitte’s 2014 Survey of US Physicians found that almost seven in 10 of the physicians surveyed believe the Meaningful Use program does not increase productivity. The proposed new system, called the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), would start in 2018. Like the existing incentive programs, physicians could achieve reimbursement increases if they meet performance goals or experience payment cuts if they miss them.

Hitting cruise control may not be wise

So, how should organizations navigate the terrain ahead? The road to value-based care: Your mileage may vary, a recent report produced by Deloitte University Press and the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, framed it well: Each route to VBC may vary in length and require different capabilities, partnerships and investments along the way.

As organizations plan their route to VBC, there is no single, “right” payment model that fits all situations. The choice of model (or combination of models) will depend on each stakeholder’s capabilities, market position, financial situation and goals. Stakeholders on a VBC journey might require capabilities such as care coordination, clinical integration and physician alignment. More robust administrative capabilities may also be needed to support value-based payment models.

Required capabilities for administration/risk-bearing under each payment model

Payment Model Risk

Graphic: Deloitte University Press | DUPress.com

Keeping the destination in sight

At every legislative and regulatory turn, the pressure to shift toward more complex and financially risky payment models will likely only get stronger. The devil will be in the details of balancing investment in new capabilities, speed of transition to VBC and managing financial risk. Organizations can start now by understanding their market position, assessing their capabilities, conducting a financial analysis and aligning around opportunities.

Whether they decide to travel solo or with partners, health care organizations that leave now on their journey to VBC can put in place the necessary capabilities and processes that may give them first-mover advantage and increased market share, while others may be left behind.

 

Read the entire Health Care Current here and subscribe to receive weekly updates.

 

Mitch Morris, MD, Vice Chairman and National Healthcare Provider Lead, Deloitte LLP Mitch Morris is the National Leader for the Health Care Provider sector at Deloitte including Consulting, Audit, Tax, and Financial Advisory Services. Dr. Morris has more than 30 years of health care experience in consulting, health care administration, research, technology, education, and clinical care.
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04/15/2015

Direct from #HIMSS15: Takeaways from Day 3: innovation, patient engagement, the CIO role, & more


Deloitte_HIMSS2015

 

Deloitte leaders share thoughts and takeaways from the third day of HIMSS15. 

 

Terri Cooper, PhD, Principal, Federal Health Practice Leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP, discusses what value-based care means for the public sector.

 

 

Dr. Harry Greenspun, Director, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Deloitte Services LP, discusses the sentiment of the health care industry towards value-based care.

 

 

Quinn Solomon, Principal, Deloitte Digital, Deloitte Consulting LLP, discusses improving patient engagement through the implementation of CRM systems.

 

 

Tim Smith, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, discusses the importance of the CIO role in the shift to value-based care. 

 

 

Carol Chouinard, Director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, discusses using IT as a broader innovation platform to improve cost, quality, access in health care.

 

 

 

 

04/14/2015

Direct from #HIMSS15: Takeaways from Day 2: health IT adoption, transparency, cyber risk, & more


Deloitte_HIMSS2015

 

Deloitte leaders share thoughts and takeaways from the second day of HIMSS15. 

 

Rick Swanson, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, discusses factors driving the pace of health IT adoption.

 

 

John Keith, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP discusses moving from a closed health care ecosystem to an open ecosystem which requires greater transparency and an open marketplace.

 

 

Dr. Bob Williams, Director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, discusses how the shift to value-based care is changing care delivery.

 

 

Mark Ford, Principal, Deloitte & Touche LLP, discusses the state of cyber security in health care.

 

 

Dan Housman, Director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, CTO, ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte, discusses how we can engage patients to lead to better outcomes and lower costs.

 

 

Direct from #HIMSS15: Takeaways from Day 1: interoperability, value-based care, and analytics


Deloitte_HIMSS2015

 

Deloitte leaders share thoughts and takeaways from the first day of HIMSS15. 

 

 

Andy Wiesenthal, M.D., Director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, discusses the need for interoperability in the US health care industry.

 

 

Mitch Morris, M.D., Vice Chairman and National Health Care Provider Lead, Deloitte LLP, discusses progress made toward putting together the capabilities for value-based care.

 

 

Brett Davis, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and General Manager of ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte discusses the application of data mining and analytics as the US health care industry shifts from volume to value. 

 

04/09/2015

Making sense of hospital rankings


by Harry Greenspun, M.D., Director, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Deloitte LLP

My friend Chris loves cycling, both for the exercise and the stress relief it provides. Even during this brutal winter, he rode his bike nearly every day and posted photos of himself to prove it. Wearing a ski mask under his ultra-cool lighted helmet, he would sometimes pose in front of the Washington Monument, the Capitol, or some other famous DC landmark. Last year was a rough one for him, though. Like so many others, he was hit by a car door opened by an inattentive driver in the bike lane. His bike was demolished, and Chris suffered extensive road rash and bruises, and a badly broken arm.

Replacing his bike was easy. Chris solicited advice from fellow riders on social media, perused reviews on cycling websites, and consulted local clubs. He was able to outline his criteria, including budget, and aggregate the data he had collected to identify a few finalists. Evaluations focused on consistent issues, enabling apples-to-apples comparisons. Then, using a similar approach, he identified several excellent bike shops. After visiting each, he found the right shop to sell him the right bike and was back out on the road—taking more selfies.

Fixing his broken arm wasn’t as easy. He had a list of orthopedic surgeons near him, but no idea how to evaluate them. Information from social media sites gave him a sense of what the service experience at those practices was, but there was little guidance on whether the doctors achieved good outcomes. Rankings in area magazines gave little indication on how they arrived at their recommendations. At this stage, many consumers give up and simply follow the advice of someone they trust (their primary care doctor, a friend, their mother), irrespective of what that advice is based upon. Chris wound up calling me, and I recommended someone I had known for many years, had worked with in the operating room, and had gone to myself when injured. While my advice was based on significant insider experience, it still was not based upon outcomes data. Thankfully he was pleased, had a very good outcome, and was back out riding on his beautiful new bike.

Last week Chris’s world was turned upside down when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. With so many treatment options to choose from, guidance was once again essential. While he might have been happy to rely on friends’ recommendations for orthopedic surgeons, finding the best cancer treatment was far more complex. Fortunately, national data is readily available to make the process simpler, or so he thought.

Several organizations rank facilities nationally. Recently, Health Affairs compared these rankings, and the results were disconcerting. Rankings varied widely from group to group, with many “high performing” hospitals on one list landing among the worst performers on another. The study found that only 10 percent of the 844 hospitals rated as “high performing” in one rating were also “high performing” by any of the other rating systems. Additionally, no hospital was ranked as “high performing” on all four national rating systems. Adding to the confusion, the rankings even defined “safety” differently.

The struggle for many consumers is to navigate what each group means by “best” or “worst.” Part of the reason for this is the difference in methodology; another is the difference in focus (health outcomes versus patient safety versus patient satisfaction).

Like so many others facing a serious health concern, Chris has some important decisions ahead of him. Despite this diagnosis, he is actually lucky. He has wonderfully supportive family and friends, and he has people he can turn to for expert advice when he needs it to help make sense of confusing and conflicting information. I’m confident that he will overcome this challenge and next year his biggest concern will again be car doors.

The question for the industry is how to help the rest of the population make informed decisions when confronting critical health decisions. Ranking and rating programs will need to address consumers’ needs more clearly, directly, and transparently. The differences among them must be obvious, as should the reason why one might consult one provider versus another. People are savvy enough to appreciate that a provider who is great in one area, may not be as good in another. Therefore, blanket assessments of “best” or “top” offer little utility.

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is working to make quality data more widely available through sites like Physician Compare, and industry rankings strive to give consumers tools to choose high quality care. However, greater consistency is needed to allow for apples-to-apples comparison. And, beyond information on service and patient experience, information on outcomes can help consumers select a setting to receive their care. With a thoughtful, patient-centered approach to reporting, the true value of these studies can be realized.

Harry Greenspun, MD, Senior Advisor, Health Care Transformation and Technology, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Deloitte LLPDr. Greenspun, director with the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Deloitte Services LP,  serves health care, life sciences and government clients on key innovation and clinical transformation issues. He was named one of the “50 Most Influential Physician Executives in Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare, co-authored the book “Reengineering Healthcare” and has served on advisory boards for the World Economic Forum, WellPoint, HIMSS, and Georgetown University. He previously served as the CMO for Dell.

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This post originally appeared on Deloitte University Press.

 

04/07/2015

Accelerating research through the power of patients: The race for Michael


by Harry Greenspun, M.D., Director, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Deloitte LLP

One of my simplest joys is to walk our youngest son, Zander, and our dog, Tarot, to the bus stop at the top of our small cul-de-sac. The first day of school this year was particularly exciting, as we were joined by our neighbor, Michael, now ready to start kindergarten. With a kiss from his mother, Jenny, a wave from his little sister, Lila, and a good luck bark from Tarot, Michael followed Zander onto the bus for his first day of school. In the week that followed, Michael, smiling and eager as always, was there each morning.

And then he wasn’t.

Only a few days after starting school, Michael began experiencing trouble with his eye. An exam led to an MRI, which then led to a biopsy. The diagnosis was devastating: Michael had a brainstem tumor – Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). This news could not have been worse. While DIPG represents only 10-15 percent of childhood brain tumors, it is the most common cause of death from brain tumors in children, typically striking kids between ages five and seven. Unlike many other pediatric cancers, there has been little progress in improving treatments or cure rates over the last few decades.

In March, Jenny created the My Hero Michael Mosier Facebook page to share his story. Hundreds of people joined this community, many to offer support, many going through the same struggle, and, sadly, many sharing the tragic loss of their own children to DIPG.

While social media may seem superficial at times, it has served an important role in health care and is transforming the way we approach and cope with diseases. Web communities and social media platforms allow patients and caregivers to connect to each other, update friends and family, share questions and answers and obtain badly needed emotional and financial support. Many have recognized the value of the data being shared, and some sites aggregate learnings. However, only recently has the government sought to harness this information in a meaningful way to advance and accelerate medical research.

Established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) began funding research in December 2012. PCORI is now the largest single research funder focused on patient-centered comparative effectiveness research (CER). The goal of PCORI is to determine which treatment options work best in particular circumstances.

In 2013, PCORI established a clinical research network, PCORnet, dedicated to patient-centered priorities in CER. PCORnet allows researchers to easily access data from millions of people across the country and use the collected data for many different research efforts. Participating organizations and leadership teams include patients, advocacy groups, clinicians, academic centers and practice-based research networks. Half of the projects are focused on rare diseases.

The core components of PCORnet are the Clinical Data Research Networks (CDRNs), research networks based on health care delivery systems and Patient-Powered Research Networks (PPRNs), groups of patients and their partners who form a network and participate in research. There are 18 PPRNs made of patients and/or caregivers who use an online network to actively engage in patient-centered CER.

One example includes iConquerMS, which aims to obtain medical data and other information from 20,000 of the 400,000 Americans living with multiple sclerosis (MS). Its eventual goal is to provide researchers with insight to develop more effective treatments. Many patients with MS have trouble knowing what therapies will work best for them. The website gives patients the opportunity to offer research questions and share information on their daily lives and quality of life. This type of information may not be captured as well in a traditional clinical trial (see the March 17, 2015 Health Care Current for more on iConquerMS).

PCORI isn’t the only group embracing social media and patient engagement. Some pharmaceutical companies have utilized social networking sites to provide ongoing focus groups with patients and doctors. Capturing information on patients’ and physicians’ experiences with different diseases, devices and treatments supplements data from formal research trials and can enhance information on off-label prescription drug use.

As the government, through programs such as PCORI, and the health care industry continue efforts to place patients at the center of care, these initiatives will help to create structure around current data collection practices. Until recently, many of these initiatives lacked common standards. Now, PCORI has outlined four cross-cutting best practice standards for patient-centeredness. For a study to be “patient centered,” researchers must engage people representing the population of interest, retain study participants representative of the spectrum of that population, use patient-reported outcomes when appropriate and support the dissemination of results. PCORI is promoting the uptake of these patient-centeredness standards and working to engage stakeholders to strengthen research practices.

Empowered patients could be more actively engaged with their providers and in their health care, and collecting and analyzing large amounts of certain kinds of “real world” data provided by patients can inform the research process. Hopefully, by collecting and strategically sharing information from large patient populations, cures can come faster.

For Michael, a cure can’t come fast enough. A few months ago, he was like any other kid, riding his bike and shooting baskets in his driveway with his father. Now he is in a motorized wheelchair, amid aggressive chemotherapy and radiation. Throughout it, he has faced everything with extraordinary bravery. Family and friends have rallied around him, and last week, all the staff and students at our elementary school dressed in yellow (his favorite color) and lined the halls cheering him as he left early for another treatment.

As neighbors, we do what we can. Recently, we got our families together for a barbecue at our house. The kids played with Tarot in the back yard and then made ice cream. Sitting in our kitchen with Mark and Jenny, I came to appreciate the simple joy of eating hot dogs with our kids.

 

Read the entire Health Care Current here and subscribe to receive weekly updates.

 

Harry Greenspun, MD, Senior Advisor, Health Care Transformation and Technology, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Deloitte LLPAs a director with the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Deloitte Services LP, Dr. Greenspun serves health care, life sciences and government clients on key innovation and clinical transformation issues. He was named one of the “50 Most Influential Physician Executives in Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare, co-authored the book “Reengineering Healthcare” and has served on advisory boards for the World Economic Forum, WellPoint, HIMSS, and Georgetown University. He previously served as the CMO for Dell.

Email | LinkedIn | Twitter

 

PS - Michael’s parents, Jenny and Mark, are supporting other families in treatment and raising funds for brain tumor research by establishing a Race for Hope DC team. My wife and I have joined and will be cheering them on in our yellow “Team Big Hero Michael” shirts.*

 

* This article should not be deemed or construed to be for the purpose of soliciting donations for Race for Hope. It is not an endorsement of the services or products provided by Race for Hope.

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