In the life sciences and healthcare industry, health data governance is important to both the digital transformation of a healthcare organization and to expand digital health.
Advancing and expanding digital health and improving patient care necessitates taking a patient-centric approach to health data governance. Patient centricity requires a holistic approach that is about placing the patient and their families at the center of everything your healthcare organization does and looking at needs through a patient’s lens. Patients should be considered critical stakeholders and active participants in their digital health not just recipients of care.
“Patient centricity has meant different things to different people at different points in time,” said Dr. Sandesh Prabhu, Senior VP of Healthcare and Life Sciences at HCLTech. “To that extent, it has been a contextual and fluid concept that has been evolving quite strongly in healthcare and life sciences.”
Three elements of patient centricity
According to Dr. Prabhu, he considers there to be three elements that are essential to a holistic patient-centric approach. The first among these is about transparent and sustained engagement that’s as precise and real-time as possible.
The second is about patients’ access to their data, rights on those data elements and how that data can be used with or without consent.
“It’s essentially about putting the patient at the center of everything that you do and looking at your business through patients’ lenses,” said Dr. Prabhu. “Further, one must ensure that you know you are addressing the needs and wants of the patient.”
The third element for patient centricity is creating the best experience and outcome possible for the patients--both in terms of clinical and non-clinical outcomes and experiences.
Barriers to adopting a patient-centric approach
Many of the challenges that are associated with patient centricity reflect the maturity level of the organization.
A major barrier for patient centricity is data residing in silos. This is a significant roadblock for knowing who the patient is from a 360-degree standpoint to delivering personalized care and personalized services. This obstacle and a lack of data interoperability contributes to a lack of adoption and less than an optimal approach to patient experience and outcomes.
Another challenge is a lack of well-conceived strategy about patient engagement. Rather than looking at patient engagement holistically, many organizations still view the patient engagement experience as more transactional or in a “catch-up mode.”
“There’s a lack of leadership and governance around patient engagement strategies,” said Dr. Prabhu.
Lastly, cultural inertia for organizations inhibits the focus on patient centricity. Traditionally, the health system is “for the patient” and “to the patient,” but is never—or very rarely—with the patient. Changing the culture around your organization’s healthcare ecosystem is key to building a holistic patient-centric environment.
Benefits to delivering patient centricity
There are unique benefits for your organization in adopting patient centricity beyond improving patient care. Among the obvious benefits are new customer acquisition and retention of existing customers through raising patient satisfaction levels.
In addition, a patient-centric service strategy can reduce costs significantly because you’re enabling self-service options for patients to perform tasks themselves.
From a pharma standpoint, the more an organization engages with patients, the better you understand them to define what medications will address their health issues. Organizations can ensure that they’re delivering the right drugs to the right set of patients in the right fashion.
“HCLTech currently offers end-to-end patient-centered services and solutions that enable our customers to achieve patient centricity,” said Dr. Prabhu. “It starts with consulting services from an advisory standpoint. We can help customers with blueprints, adoption, roadmaps and best practices.” Further HCLTech delivers services that help customers build a robust patient engagement and an ecosystem of connected tools and technologies. HCLTech’s full suite of patient engagement services focus on supporting and engaging patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals to achieve true patient centricity.